Published on February 22nd,2006 at 9:05 AM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

2nd hand electronics sales will soon be illegal in Japan

The customer is not always… well, rarely, right in Japan, and manufacturers don’t really care about them. The second hand marker flourishes over here, and most people take good care of their equipment, so used goods are usually in a very good condition and are sold easily to be replaced by new goods. It’s easy to strike a good deal when buying these second hand goods. But that’s exactly the big problem for manufacturers, because this grey market is not generating them any profit, and they would like to get rid of this phenomenon. The first ones to talk to the government about this were the car manufacturers, and they convinced the government to enforce a rule that used cars have to go to the technical inspection after 3 years, and this is a costly matter since a check costs between 1500 and 3500 EUR. Once you’re in the system, you have to get your car checked every 2 years, and once your car is 10 years old, you need to go there every year. This is a reson why the Japanese change cars quite fast, usually before the car is 3 years old. Important aspect is that you have no control whatsoever on the cost of possible repairs, because after the technical check, the car is driven to the garage and they do the repairs that the technical check asked them to do, you just get the bill with your car. A very nice rip-off… and this system is being envied by a lot of other domains, like the electronics domain at this moment. So from April 1st 2006, ALL electronic products sold in Japan before 2001 will be prohibited from the 2nd hand market! This means that for example a PC like the Vaio U1 (PCG-U1) will be soon not vailable on the Japanese market anymore, since it was sold in April 2002… and you still have about a month to get a Vaio C1! It also seems that a 5 yeas old product (made after 2001) will Face the same problem in the futur.

Needless to say that like any law, it can and will be circumvented, but this is a disaster for the small shops in Akihabara. The excuse of the Japanese government are security reasons on anything electronical.

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Comments
 

  • chromafresh

    The Japan Synthesizer Programmers Association (led by Ryuichi Sakamoto) is leading a signature campaign to deregulate "denan" requirements for specialized vintage equipment such as second-hand electronic music instruments, studio equipment, amplifiers, and so forth as these items will basically become unable to be sold under the new law. Never mind that local electronic giants are aiming to put a strangle hold on inexpensive electronics coming in from China and Korea.

    According to this site: http://homepage3.nifty.com/tsato/terms/denan-e.html
    PCs are exempt from the new law, although there may be qualifiers.

    The point is if this law concerns you and you are in Japan, I urge you to put your name on the form at the link at the bottom of this post.

    I actually tried posting something about this to Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing today but I suspect it didn’t interest them enough.

    This is from that mail:

    The following is translated to the best of my ability from the Japan Synthesizer Programmers Association website on a page for a signature campaign to support deregulation for certain types of equipment:

    The problem with the law:

    Electronic products without a "PSE" mark will be unable to be sold.
    In order for dealers to sell second-hand products, it becomes necessary to put a "PSE" mark on the product, and application to METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) must be made by such dealer and a PSE mark will be issued only if the product meets with METI guidelines. Penalties will be issued to sellers who do not follow the law.

    This includes so-called "vintage" equipment, including the multitude of electronic music instruments from the 50′s to 90′s that cannot be expected to meet the "guidelines" of the new law. In order to meet the new guidelines it may be possible to rewire equipment to become usable with an AC adapter thus making them exempt for a 2 year period, however in the case of sensitive musical equipment, this will result in affecting the functionality and the very sound of such equipment to detrimental affect.

    Equipment covered includes, electronic music instruments, guitar amplifiers, recording equipment, radio receivers, analog and digital recorders, video recorders, turntables, jukeboxes, sound equipment all equipment which use a "power transformer" to supply power to the device.

    Within the current guidelines, second-hand dealers and the second-hand market will become unable to function, thus killing the market for specialized equipment and greatly damage the future progress of Japan’s music and artistic culture.

    This signature campaign requests the removal of restrictions from equipment such as listed above.

    Musician: Ryuichi Sakamoto (founding member of YMO (Yellow Magic
    Orchestra) and Composer)
    Musician: Masayoshi Takanaka (guitarist)
    Musician: Hideki Matsutake (Moog performer and support member of YMO,
    founding member of "Logic System&quot
    Musician: Kazuo Shiina (support musician)

    Signature campaign website (in Japanese, signatures require Japanese
    address) http://www.jspa.gr.jp/pse/

    Regards,
    -b

  • Daimaou

    Thank you very much for this post, we have now a better idea of what is going on…

    I will follow your link

    Best regards

  • adamukun

    Your post is unnecessarily alarmist, IMO.

    First of all, exports of used electronicws are EXEMPT from the law! In that case, exports from Japan might actually surge, meaning that you will benefit at the Japanese consumer’s expense.

    According to the report of the Asahi Shimbun, this new law will NOT make the sale of old electronics illegal per se. They will just require a stamp of approval.

    Yes, this does put the secondhand market in Japan at a considerable disadvantage, but this is NOT like the car inspection system in which an expensive check is required every few years. This is a one-time glance-over that the retailers might be able to get around easily, perhaps even by performing the inspections themselves.

    I agree that the new law, like the plethora of other regulations that screw the Japanese consumer, should be fought tooth and nail. But any protest must be based on a correct understanding of the facts, not simply a kneejerk reaction.

    (Read the Asahi article here: http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200602210407.html )

  • chromafresh

    Thanks for that link. I was looking for something just like that and didn’t find one. I only know that alot of musicians around me are panicking and I understand the second-hand music shops aren’t able to keep up with the demand for used equipment these days, and prices are rising and so on and so on…

    I thought this was interesting (from the article above):

    Registered "manufacturers" may attach PSE labels after confirming three very simple things: the product looks fine, works properly when turned on, and does not leak electricity at 1,000 volts.

    One retailer even said a ministry official told him he could go ahead and certify products at his own risk. "The official said, ‘You will be able to sell (used products) if you attach PSE marks after making voluntary inspections. But you should take full responsibility in case of an accident (caused by a product),’" the retailer recalled.

    The ambiguity is causing some concern that PSE labels might end up affixed to unsafe products, putting consumers in danger.

  • adamukun

    Roy over at Mutant Frog Travelogue has gone into more detail about why this news does not mean 2nd hand electronics sales will be banned:

    http://www.mutantfrog.com/2006/02/22/2nd-hand-electronics-sales-will-not-soon-be-illegal-in-japan/

  • teknotom

    So let me get this straight, this doesn’t apply to old games consoles etc? Sad as it may be, I want a Famicom, a White Saturn and maybe a PC Engine when I am over there in May

  • adamukun

    Yes, teknotom, you’ve got it right. Go ahead and get your Famicom. You’ll need to get a new adapter for it anyway I think.

    It’s amazing how fast misinformation can spread. This story has been picked up by PennyArcade Forums, Slashdot, Engadget, and a ton of other places.

  • teknotom

    Thanks for the confirmation. Yeah I know about the leads. I’m in the UK, so i’ll need different TV leads and everything (though my TV is NTSC compatible). That ominous mention of "electronic gaming appliances" in the list though, does that just apply to arcade cabs etc?

  • Daimaou
    adamukun said:
    Your post is unnecessarily alarmist, IMO.

    First of all, exports of used electronicws are EXEMPT from the law! In that case, exports from Japan might actually surge, meaning that you will benefit at the Japanese consumer’s expense.

    According to the report of the Asahi Shimbun, this new law will NOT make the sale of old electronics illegal per se. They will just require a stamp of approval.

    Yes, this does put the secondhand market in Japan at a considerable disadvantage, but this is NOT like the car inspection system in which an expensive check is required every few years. This is a one-time glance-over that the retailers might be able to get around easily, perhaps even by performing the inspections themselves.

    I agree that the new law, like the plethora of other regulations that screw the Japanese consumer, should be fought tooth and nail. But any protest must be based on a correct understanding of the facts, not simply a kneejerk reaction.

    (Read the Asahi article here: http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200602210407.html )

    Thank you for the info, I didn’t succeed to find that while I was written the article, but what the ASAHI write is a bit different from what people in the field feel, a lot of shops are REALLY upset in Akihabara, coz FEW of them will be able or will have the resources to export stuff or rent stuff (like the ASAHI underline)… So no I am sorry but this post is necessarily alarmist. Remember that most of them are often small family business, which already struggle to survive, and this point both of you and the MutanFrog seems to forget about it.

    Akihabara in Tokyo is Dying, the Akihabara we know will soon disappear, all this small store that I love to go are replaced by branch store or Duty Free store were sometimes price are really a rip off. Since the arrival of the new business center, a lot of big corporate want to clean this area and little by little they succeed. I agree that a better architecture will be welcome there but I do not want all small stores to be replaced by this horrible Duty Free stores or Branch stores.

  • andym
    Akiba Team said:
    The customer is not always… well, rarely, right in Japan, and manufacturers don’t really care about them. The second hand marker flourishes over here, and most people take good care of their equipment, so used goods are usually in a very good condition and are sold easily to be replaced by new goods. It’s easy to strike a good deal when buying these second hand goods. But that’s exactly the big problem for manufacturers, because this grey market is not generating them any profit, and they would like to get rid of this phenomenon. The first ones to talk to the government about this were the car manufacturers, and they convinced the government to enforce a rule that used cars have to go to the technical inspection after 3 years, and this is a costly matter since a check costs between 1500 and 3500 EUR. Once you’re in the system, you have to get your car checked every 2 years, and once your car is 10 years old, you need to go there every year. This is a reson why the Japanese change cars quite fast, usually before the car is 3 years old. Important aspect is that you have no control whatsoever on the cost of possible repairs, because after the technical check, the car is driven to the garage and they do the repairs that the technical check asked them to do, you just get the bill with your car. A very nice rip-off… and this system is being envied by a lot of other domains, like the electronics domain at this moment. So from April 1st 2006, ALL electronic products sold in Japan before 2001 will be prohibited from the 2nd hand market! This means that for example a PC like the Vaio U1 (PCG-U1) will be soon not vailable on the Japanese market anymore, since it was sold in April 2002… and you still have about a month to get a Vaio C1! It also seems that a 5 yeas old product (made after 2001) will Face the same problem in the futur.<br />
    <br />
    Needless to say that like any law, it can and will be circumvented, but this is a disaster for the small shops in Akihabara. The excuse of the Japanese government are security reasons on anything electronical.<br />
    <br />
    <a class="textlinks" href="http://digg.com/hardware/2nd_hand_electronics_sales_will_soon_be_illegal_in_Japan" target=_blank>Digg this Story !</a> <br />
    <br />
    <center><img src=’http://images.akihabaranews.com/news_pics/11230/1.jpg’></center><br>
    <a href="http://www.akihabaranews.com/en/news-11230-2nd+hand+electronics+sales+will+soon+be+illegal+in+Japan.html" target=_blank>La news sur le site</a>

    Don’t know where you get your ‘shaken’ (the technical check) but mine and I guess most peoples doesn’t cost anywhere near 1500 Euro (210,000 Yen) including tax and insurance!! Nothing needed fixing either!! Japan isn’t alone in requiring periodic technical checks either.
    As others have pointed out this is not as draconian as it may appear. You can bet your life all the recycle shops would be up in arms if it were!!

    AndyM

  • adamukun

    Yes, I am doing some more research into this, and it seems like gamers who prefer non-AC adapter consoles (like Sega Saturn/Dreamcast) are especially screwed.

    And then in 2 years the AC adapters themselves will require certification.

  • Daimaou
    andym said:
    Akiba Team said:
    The customer is not always… well, rarely, right in Japan, and manufacturers don’t really care about them. The second hand marker flourishes over here, and most people take good care of their equipment, so used goods are usually in a very good condition and are sold easily to be replaced by new goods. It’s easy to strike a good deal when buying these second hand goods. But that’s exactly the big problem for manufacturers, because this grey market is not generating them any profit, and they would like to get rid of this phenomenon. The first ones to talk to the government about this were the car manufacturers, and they convinced the government to enforce a rule that used cars have to go to the technical inspection after 3 years, and this is a costly matter since a check costs between 1500 and 3500 EUR. Once you’re in the system, you have to get your car checked every 2 years, and once your car is 10 years old, you need to go there every year. This is a reson why the Japanese change cars quite fast, usually before the car is 3 years old. Important aspect is that you have no control whatsoever on the cost of possible repairs, because after the technical check, the car is driven to the garage and they do the repairs that the technical check asked them to do, you just get the bill with your car. A very nice rip-off… and this system is being envied by a lot of other domains, like the electronics domain at this moment. So from April 1st 2006, ALL electronic products sold in Japan before 2001 will be prohibited from the 2nd hand market! This means that for example a PC like the Vaio U1 (PCG-U1) will be soon not vailable on the Japanese market anymore, since it was sold in April 2002… and you still have about a month to get a Vaio C1! It also seems that a 5 yeas old product (made after 2001) will Face the same problem in the futur.<br />
    <br />
    Needless to say that like any law, it can and will be circumvented, but this is a disaster for the small shops in Akihabara. The excuse of the Japanese government are security reasons on anything electronical.<br />
    <br />
    <a class="textlinks" href="http://digg.com/hardware/2nd_hand_electronics_sales_will_soon_be_illegal_in_Japan" target=_blank>Digg this Story !</a> <br />
    <br />
    <center><img src=’http://images.akihabaranews.com/news_pics/11230/1.jpg’></center><br>
    <a href="http://www.akihabaranews.com/en/news-11230-2nd+hand+electronics+sales+will+soon+be+illegal+in+Japan.html" target=_blank>La news sur le site</a>

    Don’t know where you get your ‘shaken’ (the technical check) but mine and I guess most peoples doesn’t cost anywhere near 1500 Euro (210,000 Yen) including tax and insurance!! Nothing needed fixing either!! Japan isn’t alone in requiring periodic technical checks either.
    As others have pointed out this is not as draconian as it may appear. You can bet your life all the recycle shops would be up in arms if it were!!

    AndyM

    the "Shaken" System is wonderful art of never having the same result on the same car… And it also depends of the Dealer and location, but I can tell you that for my Subaru Legacy… This summer I will cry !

  • adamukun

    Here is a summary of my findings:

    http://www.mutantfrog.com/2006/02/22/straight-from-the-horses-mouth-meti-explains-stance-on-secondhand-game-consoles/

    Hopefully we can get a clearer picture of what is going on. Sega Dreamcast was a great system, so if this inspection certification system does turn out to be overly burdensome, this law may have the unintended consequence of stifling a major tourist hub in Tokyo. Not a good idea since it’s not like there are that many to begin with!

  • Daimaou
    adamukun said:
    Here is a summary of my findings:

    http://www.mutantfrog.com/2006/02/22/straight-from-the-horses-mouth-meti-explains-stance-on-secondhand-game-consoles/

    Hopefully we can get a clearer picture of what is going on. Sega Dreamcast was a great system, so if this inspection certification system does turn out to be overly burdensome, this law may have the unintended consequence of stifling a major tourist hub in Tokyo. Not a good idea since it’s not like there are that many to begin with!

    ??? Where did I wrote that ?

    "Akihabara News’ mistaken claim that the Japanese government is about to ban its thriving used video game market."

    U Seems to be hard on my article but I think that you are written something that I never SAID or WROTE !

    I never mention used video game, but all electronics, like TV, Washing Maching, Comptuer, Amps yes Video games could be in it but I never said that

  • Daimaou

    I am not a specialist in the Video Game field, but it seems that selling used video games in Japan is already (and since a long time) partially illegal, there are strick regulation on this matter. What I wrote was about electronic devices, and I was more concentrated in the "Comptuer" area, and I gave 2 example of possible computer which may face problem one day or another…

  • adamukun

    My bad — electronics it is.

  • Daimaou
    adamukun said:
    My bad — electronics it is.

    No problems thanks anyway for helping everydody (including us) to have a better view of the problem, and thank you for your deep work on this matter

  • al bundy

    LOL! Some top idiot of politics probably came up with this. Fuckin rich basturds! Well, actually more like monied interests in some politicians mind. They think everyone is as wealthy and can afford to replace their car every year. But it gets better. If this is the case, two options are possible. One, It can seriously harm their environment, as more people are dumping older gear for newer gear. Japan is not smart enought to recycle their circuit boards, right? I mean, who really is? Two, People cant afford to keep buying new equipment, therfore businesses suffer casual losses, causing a fluctuation in employment.

    Then again, I would never live in Japan. It just gets too funny after that. Isnt chaos great entertainment? If anything like ebay exists in japan, people will get 25 to life! LOL!

  • zenhammond

    Now on my 15th year in Japan, I have done shaken 6 times on 3 different cars. The most I ever paid was 120,000 yen. The cheapest was 60,000.

    Two suggestions. Don’t go to your dealer for shaken. If you are lazy, go to a gas station. They will tell you how much before they do it.

    Or, do it yourself. There is a thing caller "user shaken". I had a friend do this for me twice. You have to do all the paperwork, but it will only cost you the price of the inspection, about 50,000 yen. I gave her 10,000 for her time.

  • Daimaou
    zenhammond said:
    Now on my 15th year in Japan, I have done shaken 6 times on 3 different cars. The most I ever paid was 120,000 yen. The cheapest was 60,000.

    Two suggestions. Don’t go to your dealer for shaken. If you are lazy, go to a gas station. They will tell you how much before they do it.

    Or, do it yourself. There is a thing caller "user shaken". I had a friend do this for me twice. You have to do all the paperwork, but it will only cost you the price of the inspection, about 50,000 yen. I gave her 10,000 for her time.

    REALLY !

    Ok so I will definitevly try to "digg" on this one

  • TOKIO

    Yesterday March 14, 2006 the Japanese ministry in charge of the PSE law and its interpretation announced that "Vintage Electric Equipment" including guitar amps, audio, electric musical instruments, and electric powered photographic equipment etc. will be exempted from full PSE testing requirements, and will be allowed to sell after a simplified registration procedure is followed by the merchant.

    For those who can read Japanese, see news item at Yahoo Japan:
    http://dailynews.yahoo.co.jp/fc/domestic/pse_law/
    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20060314-00000053-mai-bus_all

    Also notice that major second-hand audio retailer HiFi Do had already registered with the ministry as a re-manufacturer of used audio equipment and has set itself up to do fully compliant testing and certification, and also will equip each piece of used equipment they sell (after testing and modifying the equipment to comply with the law) with a properly registered PSE sticker.

    See http://www.hifido.co.jp/merumaga/osu_sale/060310/

    So this means the good Ryuichi Sakamoto (who campaigned against the law prohibiting sale of vintage synthesizers etc.) and his friends were successful.

    Cheers!

  • PJ

    On a slightly different subject would anyone know how one could get a hold of a 2nd musical instrument dealers in Japan?

  • Andy

    An Japanese online second hand musical instrument dealer is
    http://www.ishibashi-music.com
    (this is the address for the English language version of the Ishibashi website.
    Ishibashi sells new and second hand musical equipment.
    For second hand click on the u-box icons on the website however some of th u-box icons take you to the discount centre so keep trying until you find yourself on the page with the instrument catagory search located on the left side of the web page.

  • el_toro

    my business is to buy surplus anything from foreign countries and sell them in my country. if you have problems with your second-hand electronic music instruments, studio equipment, amplifiers, and etc…and you need to sell. I am willing to buy them if items are in good condition, with legal papers and reasonably priced. I buy items by volume, and ship them in container vans. To those who are interested, please feel free to get in touch with me. Thank you

    • Jrframbo

      Hi,
      I am interested in buying at a wholesale price also in huge quantities, will you please mail the details on the stuff you have. John

    • Brett Gill

      How to get in touch with you el_toro

  • dumlan

    interested to buy sencond hand AV reciever from japan, Secondhand lcd tv etc in all good working condition, home theater speakers, book shelves or floor standing.
    overstock items etc.

    Please email me at mikedumlan@hotmail.com
    dumlan_mike@yahoo.com

    Philippines

    1761 jose abad santos st, tondo manila
    philippines

  • Ashish

    I want to buy Nokia E65 in Tokyo. Please guide me some shops which sell GSM phones in Tokyo.

  • dominic

    an any one tell me how i can contact a secondhand goods dealer in Japan to export to Australia

    • koikawa

      Hello
      HelloWhat kind of goods you wish to be exported from JapanI hope that we can cooperate together

      Warm greetings
      Koikawa

  • Dominic

    Can any one refer a reliable secondhand goods dealer in Japan to export goods to Australia
    dominicsamuels@hotmail.com

  • NZ Dealer

    Can any one refer a reliable secondhand goods dealer in Japan to export goods to New Zealand

    • koikawa

      Greetings Japan resident for 25 years Of Iraqi origin
       Hello
      What kind of goods you wish to be exported from Japan
       I hope that we can cooperate togetherjapanexpo@yahoo.com
      japanexpo@yahoo.com
       Warm greetingsKoikawa

  • Asdddr444

    darn how is best buy gonna keep their shelves stocked

  • Eyongbill

    hello i’m dennis , i wish to find somebody to supply me with secondhanded japanese electronics like lcd tv  laptops home theater and dvds. contact me at eyongbill@yahoo.com , 08618223269467

  • Upalikaluarachchige upali

    hello i am sri lankan, i need to by second hand LCD,HOME TEATER SYSTEM,CRT TV,DVR,etc.any body have this items contact me. my mobile no.00971558065279. thanks

  • Valentin_coling99

    hi i 3want to buy a 2nd hand netbook

  • navas usman

    hai, i like to buy second-hand electronic music instruments, studio equipment, amplifiers,
    and etc if you have any thing good & reasonable  equipment plse  mail me ;nflyingsteps@gmail.com  thank u

  • Brett Gill

    Does anyone know who I can contact to buy secondhand vending machines? Someone preferably can comunicate in English… My contact details : brettgillbg@yahoo.co.nz

  • http://www.facebook.com/gipankihunut.tanakpampang Gipan Kihunut Tanak Pampang

    me too i’m interested with used electronics-amplifiers,radio cassette CD player & speaker.But this is 6 years ago….

 

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