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The Japanese government has announced that by its calculations the Japanese anime industry suffered some 240 billion yen in “lost” sales due to Chinese piracy and counterfeiting. The Japanese government indicates it intends to press China to crack down.

The figure, announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, refers to products, such as DVDs or anime merchandising, subjected to physical piracy and counterfeiting in the PRC.

The ministry arrived at the figure with the aid of a Japanese think-tank who conducted surveys of Chinese buying habits, extrapolating from the results an estimated national figure.

Amongst their findings was that only 20% of Chinese anime fans refrained from buying merchandise they knew to be illegitimate.

The ministry’s intellectual property section expresses its intent to request action be taken, but given China’s record on respecting intellectual property rights, or any other kind of rights, few would hold out much hope of them doing anything.

Whilst the methodology used to arrive at the figure might be suspect, few could doubt that vast amounts of fake anime products originate in China, and that the Chinese government does little to prevent such activity. Many would also suspect it tacitly encourages such activity.

Indeed, with fake goods also being exported in huge quantities and with plagiarism also a major problem, the real figure may be substantially higher.


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