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Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 12:34 pm PT (03:34 pm ET)

Apple launches iTunes in the Cloud service in Japan

Apple has continued the international expansion of its iTunes in the Cloud service, allowing iOS users in Japan to automatically download iTunes song purchases on their devices.

iTunes users can now access the "Purchased" tab within the iTunes Store application on iOS devices, Japanese-language site Macotakara reported on Tuesday. Users can also turn on automatic downloading of Music on their iOS device, along with automatic downloads of applications and books.

iTunes in the Cloud offers users the ability to re-download their content on a number of devices without the need to purchase it again. It applies to music, applications and books that are bought through Apple.

Users can even have iTunes in the Cloud functionality extend to their personal collection of music, which may have been downloaded from other storefronts or ripped from a CD, with the iTunes Match service. iTunes Match launched late last year in the U.S., soon after the rest of the iTunes in the Cloud service rolled out. It costs $24.99 per year.

The addition of iTunes in the Cloud to Japan could be a sign that Apple plans to bring iTunes Match to yet another country in the near future. As of Tuesday, iTunes Match does not yet work in Japan.

International roll-out of iTunes Match has continued steadily since it debuted in the U.S., expanding to the U.K., Europe and Australia in December. It expanded to 19 more countries across Latin America and Europe in January, bringing its total to 37.