The Japanese must have more of a thing for Apple than we thought. A group of 70 local companies, led by heavyweights such as Hitachi and NEC, wants to spur iPad and iPhone app development for the corporate world. Along with helping to get the apps built in the first place, the alliance could help spread the work abroad. Members have even said they'll press Apple to get more information for writing business apps, although we wish them the best of success on that front -- Apple isn't exactly known for letting developers learn more about iOS' inner workings. With as many as 600 members joining over time, the coalition's success could shake up a Japanese suit-and-tie culture led by domestic cellphones and PCs. There also wouldn't be any shortage of irony from NEC partnering to support a platform that undermines its own tablets.