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Information Technology giant International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) has announced the opening of two new data centers in Japan.

One of the two data centers is located in Makuhari and serves IBM's SmartCloud Enterprise customers. The Makuhari data center enables IBM to offer both private and public cloud services to Japanese businesses. It is IBM's sixth data center dedicated exclusively to its SmartCloud, with other centers located in the United States, Canada and Germany.

A few months ago, IBM announced that it would build a new $38 million SmartCloud Data Center in Singapore to prepare for a potential cloud computing rush throughout the Asia-Pacific region. IBM also touts 13 global cloud labs, seven of which are based in that region.

The second data center in the recent IBM announcement will go online later this year, the company said, and will be dedicated to LotusLive, IBM's cloud-based collaboration service offered exclusively in Japan. This second data center will enable IBM's LotusLive to offer online messaging and social collaboration services to Japanese enterprises, most of whom cannot take their data out of the country because of security and regulatory concerns.

IBM's new data centers are a signal that there is an increasing demand for cloud services, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

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