Book prices in Japan fixed
Despite Japan’s 1953 Anti-Monopoly Law, books published in Japan are still sold at fixed prices, as was the case before the Second World War. The Anti-Monopoly Law has an exception for Publications. Under the Resale Price Maintenance System publications, including books, must be sold across Japan at a fixed price. According to the industry “this enables the distribution of a wide variety of titles in small volumes and allows for royalties to be paid on books with small initial print runs”. It has, however, created opportunities for secondhand booksellers like Book-Off, that sell titles that are technically secondhand, but are in almost new condition. Book-Off, founded in 1991, has more than 1,000 stores and annual sales of 52 billion yen. Other opportunists exploit Amazon Marketplace. In Japan books are not exempt from Consumption (sales) Tax, as is the case in some countries. However, e-books sold into Japan by international (non-Japan-based) retailers are exempt from this tax.
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