Affiliate programs are a big part of Internet Marketing and Japan is no exception to that. A lot of sites offer their own programs, but there are only few of them that gather large numbers of these programs in one place and give you the chance to have a single affiliate account.
There is one big site that seems to be the very clear leader of the market: A8.net. It’s pretty simple, virtually every time I stumble upon spamblogs or satellite sites with too much on/off-page SEO in Japanese, I find affiliate links to this site. Amazon is popular too, but A8.net seems to be the one place affiliate marketers of all kinds gather at.
They have tons of different programs, but to be fair the commissions are not too exciting most of the time, usually around 5%. Well, it’s not less than Amazon and again, you have all the programs in one place, which is convenient, but a little more fierce competition wouldn’t hurt I guess. They offer what you would expect from common affiliate sites: custom links and buttons, clicks and sales tracking, etc…
If you’re after more exciting commissions though, I’d advise you to try a few programs through a platform like A8.net, see what seems to be profitable and then find individual sites you’re interested in and either pick the ones with the best commission rates or negotiate directly with site owners when possible.
With time and a good set of keywords, you should be able to find websites that offer commissions in the 10-20% range for most of services and products that can be bought online.
A quick word on Japanese E-books and software affiliations: there are no market leaders such as Clickbank in US/Europe that gather lots of them, but most E-book writers and SEO / Marketing software developers often have attractive programs. Again, it is worth to do your own search.
If you know any good Japanese affiliate programs you’d like to recommend, please let us know in the comments!