chapter  7
Distribution Channels and Costs for Imported Goods
WithErich Batzer, Helmut Laumer
Pages 18

In parallel to the “sole importer” marketing channel there is in many cases a “grey market”, where Japanese importers not authorized by the manufacturer buy the products in the country of manufacture, import them into Japan bypassing the sole importer and sell them, sometimes at substantially lower prices. In a joint study by the Economic Planning Agency, the National Tax Administration Agency, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries the distribution channels and marketing margins for a total of 59 items were analyzed in detail. The survey of 15 products, mostly classifiable as everyday requisites, revealed that there was barely any difference between the marketing channels for imported goods and those for domestically produced items. Foreign manufacturers wishing to sell their products, especially consumer goods, in Japan often regard the high distribution costs there as a serious drag on any major expansion of their business.