Apple releases iBooks 3.1 with support for iBookstore in Japan, local content & improvements for reading Asian language books

Update: Apple issued a press release on the matter, below the fold.

Apple released version 3.1 of iBooks today on the App Store and with it comes hundreds of thousands of Japanese books to the iBookstore in Japan. Among the local content on the iBookstore in Japan is light novels and manga, while Apple also noted that it has made “a number of improvements for reading Asian language books.”

AllThingsD reported in January that Apple was in talks with Japanese publishers to work out deals for the iBookstore, which had lacked local Japanese content since it first launched in 2010. Up until now, the store in Japan has consisted of mostly public domain content, but it appears Apple has finally come to an agreement with a many of the large publishers in the country.

What’s New in Version 3.1

The iBookstore in Japan now has hundreds of thousands of books available for purchase, including fiction, manga, light novels and more.  This version of iBooks also includes a number of improvements for reading Asian language books.

iBooks 3.1 is available to download on the App Store now.