May 15, 2009

Kodansha, Shueisha and Shogakkan bought Book-off's stock.

According to this article(google translated)the three biggest Japanese book publishers (and Dai-Nippon insatsu, the biggest printing company) are trying to buy about 20% of BookOff, the the largest used book chain stores in Japan.

This news sounds little bit odd if you know the Japanese book store system.
Japanese book stores have the "reselling system"(I am not sure this translation is right. In Japanese, it's called Sai-Han-Sei), any book store, but Amazon, can send back left books and get paid without penalty, so book stores in Japan are actually not retailers but something like landowners.
To protect this system, publishers have been very aggresive against used book stores, and what will happen if they get biggest used book chain is bought by them?

Japanese book reselling system is a kind of cartel, and if the used book market is somehow involved in it, it's too bad.

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