The AFP news agency reports that imports of used Japanese cars to Russia's Far East region have risen by a third this year despite increased customs tariffs.

"If last year 7,800 cars were brought in each month, this year it has been 10,300, which is up by 32 percent," Vladivostok customs spokeswoman Viktoria Shamayeva told AFP, adding that the import of South Korean buses had risen by 87 percent.

The report added that Russians in the Far East seem to prefer used Japanese cars to brand new Russian cars, which sell for around the same price, even though Moscow plans higher tariffs and tougher rules for right-hand drive automobiles.

Earlier this month, car consumers in Vladivostok set up a "Freedom of Choice" movement, seeking to defend their right "to choose a car depending on one's tastes and financial capabilities," and to better organise formerly spontaneous protest rallies against government measures designed to encourage the purchase of Russian-made vehicles.