Apple is in the middle of talks with Japanese mobile carriers, leaving consumers in eager anticipation for the iPhone launch in the country, news reports said on Tuesday.

The Silicon Valley based company continues its streak of signing exclusive agreements with mobile operators as it enters the Asian market, Wall Street Journal said. Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs recently met with Japan's dominant mobile operator, NTT DoCoMo's president Masao Nakamura, to discuss selling the iPhone to Japan.

Jobs has also entered talks with the country's no. 3 carrier Softbank Corp, which bought Vodafone's local unit in 2006. Executives from both companies have made multiple trips to its Californian headquarters.

Apple, DoCoMo and Softbank declined to comment on the advancement of talks.

The iPhone has already seen success in the countries where it launched, with a total of 1.4 million items sold through late September. In Europe, Apple signed exclusive deals with top European wireless carriers, France Telecom SA's Orange and Telefonica SA's O2 in the U.K and Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile of Germany.

Apple stated in November the company's goal is to sell 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008 and in doing so, gain 1 percent of the global cell phone industry. Entering the Japanese mobile market is an important move to achieve this, as it's the world's second-largest economy with over 100 million cell phone users.