The 32-year-old entrepreneur on Monday said his firm, Livedoor, which offers a portal site much like Yahoo! along with other internet services, has signed a deal with Qatar-based Aljazeera to distribute its English news online in Japanese.

 

Horie, an unsuccessful candidate in last month's parliamentary election, wrote on his blog that he was trying to diversify Livedoor's news content.

"An advantage of internet-based news distribution is its ability to let users view and search a variety of news stories," Horie said.

"In particular, international news may be influenced by the views of the countries in which the media are based. In this way, I believe distribution of Aljazeera reports is significant," he said.

Horie ran for parliament backing the agenda of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, one of US President George Bush's closest allies.

 

The Bush administration has often accused Aljazeera of bias.

Constant limelight

 

The media-savvy Horie, known for his casual dress and outspoken language, has kept Livedoor constantly in the limelight this year, projecting himself as a rebel against corporate Japan.

 

Aljazeera's offices in Iraq and
some other Arab states are shut

The firm unsuccessfully tried to buy a professional baseball team and the nation's most widely watched television network, followed by Horie's run for parliament.

Aljazeera is well-respected in the Arab world but has frequently been accused of bias by the region's governments over its coverage.

 

Its offices in Baghdad and several other Arab countries have also been shut down.

Aljazeera gained prominence with exclusive coverage of the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, under its motto, "the opinion and the counter opinion".

 

It also had its offices bombarded in Kabul and Baghdad, with fatalities in both attacks.

 

In Baghdad a prominent correspondent, Tariq Ayub was killed during the US-led invasion.