Manufacturing hub steps up fight against imitations

A manufacturing hub in central Japan known for eyeglass frames and other products is using new technology to defeat overseas imitators.

Sabae City in Fukui Prefecture produces more than 90 percent of Japan's frames for eyewear, as well as other products.

The city's Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently introduced a system developed by a Tokyo firm to help businesses deal with cheap knockoffs from abroad.

The system attaches a computer chip to products. A smartphone app displays the name of the manufacturer and the serial number as proof of authenticity.

A Chamber of Commerce official who attended a seminar on intellectual property said overseas firms have been making counterfeits for more than 20 years. He said three local businesses have adopted the new technology, and he hopes more will follow.