3DS/DS flash cartridges are now illegal to import in Japan

Today Japan banned the import of R4 cartridges because of their use in piracy of Nintendo 3DS and DS games, reports Japanese site 47News.

The country's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced that importing R4 cartridges, small flash cards used for memory storage, is now illegal. The move was prompted by complaints from Nintendo, as piracy of DS and 3DS games are "infringing the intellectual property rights" of the company, according to 47News. This decision comes nearly three years after Japan enforced a law banning retailers from selling R4 cartridges and making importing the cartridges players' only option.

In May of this year, Japanese police arrested a man who sold three R4 cartridges through the internet for a ¥7,200 ($91.27) profit. This was the first arrest in Japan regarding the sale of R4 drives.

In 2010, sales of the R4 cartridge were prohibited in the UK, with the London High Court making advertising, importing and selling the devices illegal.

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