Nintendo is very indie friendly in the west, and went so far as to hold GDC sessions on developing for its consoles using Unity back in March and will be discussing the subject yet again come GDC Europe next month. However, the case is not the same in Japan, apparently, as a per a disclosure printed on a GDC questionnaire.
Spotted by Kotaku, the questionnaire is making the rounds so to speak between Japanese developers on Twitter and they don't seem very pleased over the matter.
It's unknown why Nintendo isn't "accepting applications from developers located in Japan" at the moment for its Wii U eShop, and it has been over two months since the service launched in Japan and there hasn't been one download-only title released. The questionnaire's disclaimer may be the explanation.
Nintendo Life notes the reason could have something to do with regulations in the country, or that Nintendo is looking at an "alternative policy for Japanese developers," that it hasn't revealed just yet.
We'll send a mail and ask, and will update this post if someone gets back with us or another outlet with an explanation.