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Japanese consumers are famous (or infamous) the world over for their obsession with luxury brands — and as hard data demonstrates, this is definitely no globalized urban myth.

Astonishingly, the Tokyo-based Yano Research Institute found that, in 2005, the luxury goods market in Japan amounted to around 1 trillion yen; while analysts at HSBC in Paris estimate that when vacationers’ shopping is included, Japanese consumers may scoop up as much as 45 percent of all the luxury goods sold worldwide.

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