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Physical Sales Slide Precipitously In Japan

TOKYO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Physical music sales in Japan, the world's biggest market, dropped a whopping 27% in 2009, a steeper decline than initial analysis had indicated.

According to a study by Soundscan Japan, total physical sales dropped by $1.1 billion, putting the figures well ahead of an earlier report by the Record Industry Association of Japan, Billboard reported.

Despite it's size, Japan is the largest consumer of physical music product in the world, having surpassed the United States in 2009.

These declines underscored recent remarks by Sony Music Entertainment Japan chairman Masao Morita during a keynote address at MIDEM where he called for tougher anti-piracy statues to protected an obsolete business model. Japan only recently passed a law that made unauthorized downloading of copyrighted content a criminal offense, but stipulated no punitive provisions.

"Technically that law doesn't have any punishment. We are asking [the government] to add the punishment [measures] for [illegal] downloading," Morita said.

"As a music industry, we have to protect the content, we have to work with the police force on how to protect the content." he added. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers