Well, here’s a pleasant and unexpected surprise. Via some brave testers at NeoGAF, Amazon Japan has quietly begun allowing customers from outside the country to buy its video games.

What does this mean for most of you? Not much! But it’s big news for importers and fans of games that haven’t seen a Western release (or whose Western release is...different).

Normally, people have had to rely on specialist importers for this kind of stuff, but with Amazon shipping directly, those days might be over.

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If you’re worried about the perils of ordering from a site displayed in a language you can’t read, just hit the button that displays (most of) the necessary content in English.

Here’s the video game section, if you want to get a head start (and note that you’ll probably have to sign up with a new Amazon Japan account instead of using your current local account). Also note that this only applies to games sold directly by Amazon, not third-party resellers.

Oh, and while this bit is old news for seasoned importers, if you’re just dabbling in this make sure you check whether the game you’re importing can even work on the system you’ve got at home.

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Now, if only Amazon USA would do the same thing...