Fairfax, Va.--B-to-b integration software developer webMethods Inc. has launched a Japanese subsidiary, webMethods K.K. The Tokyo-based subsidiary will partner with the Japanese subsidiaries of U.S. companies, including Oracle Corp., Ariba Inc. and i2 Technologies Inc. It has also struck partnerships with Japan-based corporations such as Softbank Corp. and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. "B2B integration has a dramatic impact on the efficiency of global supply chains," said Phillip Merrick, webMethod's president and CEO in a statement. "Japan, as the world's second largest economy, is a vital component of many of these supply chains." Japan and the U.K. have emerged as the top international markets for U.S.-based b-to-b companies.