Counterfeit imports increase fourth year in row

According to a report from Okinawa Regional Customs Office, the number of cases of imported goods that are counterfeit or violate intellectual property rights has increased for the fourth year in a row.

According to the report published on Mar. 9th, the number of goods that were stopped at the customs and prevented to be imported to Okinawa increased 2.2-fold from the previous year to 6,532. The goods were stopped in 439 cases, which is an increase of 5.5 % .

Most counterfeit goods imported into Okinawa originated from China, which accounted for more than 90% of all the seized goods. The most common counterfeit goods are sundries, especially accessories. Customs officials suspect that some Okinawan vendors have business partners in China that specialize in counterfeit products.

According to Okinawa Regional Customs Office, the number of cases involving import of counterfeit goods has increased four years in a row. They say that for several years, the trend was an increase in all kinds of smart phone accessories like cases and SD cards.

The distinction between Okinawa and other prefectures is that there are a number of counterfeit hats and sunglasses coming in throughout the year because the warm weather on Okinawa creates a year around demand.

Nationwide, the number of import suspensions of illegal goods increased 14 % to 32,060 cases, which is record high.  One of the main reasons for the increase was the FIFA World Cup Soccer Games that were held last year, and the demand for specific products, such as team uniforms, increased significantly.