For years, legislators in Japan have wanted a portion of the price of a digital recording device (up to 3%) to go to recording companies, songwriters and artists. The so-called "iPod tax" has met opposition from electronics manufacturers, as you could imagine.
However, it looks like it's not going to happen. A group failed to create an agreement yet again this week, prompting official Masafumi Kiyota to say that "...there is virtually no hope for getting the legislation passed." Certainly good news for consumers.
Other electronic devices like minidisk players and DVD recorders have a copyright tax built into the price tag in Japan. The logic (if you want to call it that) is that consumers will use these devices to illegally acquire copyrighted material, so why not have them pay for it before hand, as a preemptive strike? Sounds to me like someone has contempt for their customers.