Japanese electronics companies Sony Corp. and NEC Corp. have already expressed interest in creating similar devices, while Dell Inc. has unveiled plans for a tablet computer of its own, but some consumers believe the iPad launch could be a historic moment for Japan.
In one Twitter exchange, Mitsuru Yoshii, who works at a music school in Tokyo, sent a message to Softbank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son saying that the iPad was the "21st century's black ships."
In response to the historical reference to the U.S. Naval fleet that opened up Japan to the West in 1853, Mr. Son, who aggressively sought out Apple to bring the iPhone and now the iPad to the carrier's network, wrote back: "Indeed!"