Tourists from Asia have long been targeted in Europe as 'runners' for firms seeking to sell brand name products at higher prices in Japan. Brand name products from companies such as Louis Vuitton can retail for 40 per cent more in Japan than in Paris, depending on currency rates. Tourists are often approached in the street in European capitals to buy goods on behalf of syndicates seeking to either sell them in Japan or to counterfeit them. A Louis Vuitton spokesman said bulk buying of their goods was difficult, since they have a one-item per customer rule for low-in-stock items - but there was possibly another reason. 'It's not the price differential they're after, it's the models. More lines are carried in the Paris store than in Tokyo,' the spokesman said. Japanese customers always sought the classic top sellers such as those bearing the LV monogram and distinctive looping and double-strap bag. They were often frustrated at the items being sold out at home. The spokesman said: 'The Japanese want the hot items - this spring we're launching Takashi Murakami bags and accessories. He is the Japanese artist of the moment. We expect a huge demand for those.'