About 45 percent of Japanese said it was acceptable to buy fake brand products and pirated music compact discs or movie DVDs for reasons such as their cheap prices, according to a recent survey conducted by the Cabinet Office.

According to the survey taken in July, people who have seen or heard of fake products being bought totaled 39.1 percent, up from 32.9 percent in a previous survey in July 2004.

The figures suggest that fake goods continue to be distributed even though Japanese law aims to protect intellectual property rights.

The latest survey covered 1,800 men and women aged 20 or above.

On buying fake goods, 47.4 percent were against doing so for any reason, while 29.8 percent said it is inevitable that people would buy them because they are cheaper than official products.

A total of 9.8 percent said that some fake goods have designs that are not available on official ones and 5.6 percent said it is fine to buy fake goods because they are sold in public.

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