The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Yoshiki Uchida, President, New York State Lawyer

Yoshiki Uchida,
President, New York State Lawyer

Japan introduced legal initiatives that will have a direct impact on business. They include changes related to labor, patent, copyright, Unfair Competition Prevention Law (regarding Trade Secrets), and tax laws.

Changes were also made to personal data protection regimes and the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, to name a few regulations affected. The business community needs to take note.

By amending personal data protection legislation and introducing more protective measures, while enhancing their enforceability, the government plans to initiate an arrangement with the European Union (EU) involving the exchange of personal data held in the EU.

Moreover, the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, under the supervision of the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA)—which may request a government agency, such as the Fair Trade Commission, to assist its investigations—now has clauses prohibiting misleading representation.

This has a wide application, including representation of yields of financial products, and will play an important role, since the CAA may be able to impose a penalty of 3 percent of the sales price, for a maximum 3 years, if a product is sold with misleading information.

Furthermore, the amended Code of Criminal Procedure has introduced a plea-bargaining system, which permits one to bargain one’s crime for that of another’s (or an organization’s) crime. One even may be able to avoid prosecution or have a sentence reduced, etc, by reporting another’s criminal act.

To comply with these amendments and laws, businesses should be mindful of the legal and regulatory risks involved, and establish fair compliance systems.