Apple’s iPod digital music player is winning over fans in Japan, according to a report from the Associated Press today. Sony recently released its new Walkman (see related stories: 1, 2, 3) with much fanfare, but AP reports that the iPod is “proving a colossal hit on the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant’s own turf. The tiny white machine is catching on as a fashion statement and turning into a cultural icon in Japan, much the same way it won a fanatic following in the United States.” The story goes on to note that Apple has launched a new iPod marketing campaign in Japan with television ads and billboards. In addition, Apple will bring iTunes to Japan within the next year, with prices comparable to the 99 centsper song it charges in the Unites States, Apple Japan VP Yoshiaki Sakito, who incidentally is a former Sony employee, said in an interview with AP.