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A Japanese media investigation revealed that Japanese feather merchandise is mostly filled with Chinese non-certified produce. According to labelling and advertisementclient is assured of the highest quality European down. 'The documents are forged' announces Asahi magazine.


Primarily, before the information went viral, theJapan Down Products Corporative Association had become suspicious. The unofficial investigation of the Asahi confirmed initial fears. Over 3.2 millionfutons (traditional type of Japanese bedding) with false labels are sold in Japan every year. The tags claim that half of the filling is imported from European countries like France, Poland, Hungary and Germany. 'It is in our power to control our members but we cannot control other companies' points out Masao Yamamoto from the Association. Asahi Investigation started off subsequent to an alert in the organization issued to their members, asking to identify the content of their merchandise and suggests possible forgery.

‘There are plenty of products on the marketwith European trademark. Therefore, we started to be suspicious’ Adds Masao Yamamoto, president of Japan Down Products Corporative Association.Documents that were found by Asahi claim that certificates of certain manufacturers were faked. There are records of exposure announcing real contents – 26% of European feather, not promised 93%.

‘Consequently, on May 2014 we sent request to all members of the Association to confirm their down’s origin’ highlights Yamamoto. According to the Ministry of Finance in the year of 2015 48% imported feather came from China and only 17% from Europe and Russia.

Yamamoto is convinced that his members do not break the law and their tags are originally certified. ‘We always check reliability of our members. In line with that we consist of 105 producers exclusively, but it’s still barely 25% of the Japanese market’ he explains. On January 2015 the Association issued second letter to its producers informing of legal proceedings for false certificates’ owners and naming it a crime.

European feather from local geese has distinct high quality. It’s obtained from over 90-days-old birds. In contrast to the old continent, China uses 30-days-old birds.As a result, European feather is more expensive than Chinese.The difference is outstanding – minimum a couple of thousands Yens.Based on Asahi investigation whether Japanese producers or shopping malls were asking Chinese suppliers for price drop. For that reason, Chinese companies started to mix Europeanimportswith mediocre feather from China. Some of them sold even 100% Chinese feather filled merchandise.

The producers of the Association themselves became interested in the feather’s origin. They questioned the certificates of authenticity of their suppliers, who advertise feather as either Polish or German and offer price close to Chinese products.One of the inspected certificates was identical to the original. The dates, stamps that belong to Chamber of Commerce and Industry were alike.Nonetheless, there was one significant difference – the feather percentage. The authentic document confirmed 26% of European feather, the falsification – 93%.

Yamamoto hopes that the discovery of this forgery will prevent such issues in the future and will lead to solutions through new legal regulations and supervision.

Our opinion is comparable to the words of Jean Philippe Catuse ‘Feather should not go through the markets ofcountries suspected to add numbers on certificates. Down purchased whether in France or Poland ought to havea certificate issued by an auditor and certificate of origin.If these two documents go along with each other, we have one scandal less’. asia/article/1942631/japanese-futon-fraud-thats-ruffling-