Top Internet portal Yahoo! Japan on Tuesday announced a search alliance with Google, in a deal that would see both giants dominate the Japanese market in a possible blow to Microsoft. The deal would see Yahoo! Japan switch to Google’s search engine from the Yahoo! Inc. technology used previously. It will maintain its current user interface while also using Google’s online advertising and distribution system. Yahoo! Japan is 40 percent owned by telecoms operator Softbank, while Yahoo Inc. holds a 35 percent stake. It is therefore not directly affected by the Internet search partnership reached last year between Microsoft and Yahoo!, an alliance aimed at boosting competition with Google, which has two-thirds of the global market. Inoue added that Yahoo! Inc chief and founder Jerry Yang gave him the green light to pursue the tie up with Google in Japan. However, if Yahoo! Japan and Google team up, Microsoft is likely to try to block the deal from gaining regulatory approval in Japan, Dow Jones Newswires said. Yahoo! Japan currently has about a 57 percent share of the search market and Google has about 31 percent, Inoue said. Microsoft has almost a three percent share.