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Answers to Reader’s Questions

I received several questions and requests from readers. Although they are out of my specialty, I’ll share my general knowledge and insights here. However, I advise you to consult a specialist for individual cases.

1. Taxation on cryptocurrencies


Does the ¥200,000 limit in my previous article Updates on Regulations on Cryptocurrency in Japan mean it is not required to report it, or that you don’t need to pay tax on that amount? Is it ¥200,000 profit or ¥200,000 income?


As far as income tax is concerned, salaried employees do not need to file a tax return for miscellaneous income for ¥200,000 or less. Miscellaneous income (i.e., income other than employment income) includes profits from the sale of a cryptocurrency. Therefore, if you are a salaried employee and your total miscellaneous income, including other miscellaneous income (if any) as well as profits from the sale of a cryptocurrency, amounts to ¥200,000 or less in a tax year, you don’t need to file a tax return for your miscellaneous income in the tax year.

Residence tax seems to be differently treated. Again, please seek advice from a tax office or a tax accountant for more details.

2. Racial profiling


Is racial profiling legal in Japan? I rode my motorcycle from Kurume to Aso, then parked and took a stroll down the road. I was then stopped and questioned by the police. I was also requested to present my residence card.


There is no law explicitly handling racial profiling in Japan. However, it will be a breach of Article 14(1) of the Constitution [1], which states equality before the law. If you want to take legal action based on your constitutional right, you will need to sue the state (the police are part of the state) for compensation.

However, in practice, it will not be straightforward. The police officer will never admit that they questioned you because of your race or color. Then, you will be required to discharge the burden of proof.

I was once questioned by police officers while traveling in Italy as a backpacker. I was sitting at a train station in the early morning. I was requested to present my passport. They were polite to me, and I wasn’t particularly offended in the circumstances. However, if I had been a caucasian, they might not have questioned me. Still, this is merely my guess, and there is no proof.

If you want to make a complaint about police officers, the Fukuoka Prefectural Public Safety Commission seems to accept them (I don’t know how it works, though). Or, if you are determined to take legal action, you should record the events by smartphone at the time of being questioned next time. Then, you should seek advice from a human rights lawyer who has the experience to sue the state.

[1] All people are equal under the law, and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic, or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status, or family origin.

3. International inheritance


The law regarding overseas inheritance and the tax situation in Japan


I’ve briefly researched and found that this field of law is too complex to answer such a comprehensive question.

In the first place, the term’ overseas inheritance’ is ambiguous. Various situations can be supposed. For instance, a Japanese has passed away, leaving Japan’s assets for her children living in another country. Or a non-Japanese has been living in Japan for 20 years, and his parents have passed away, leaving assets in another country. Or a non-Japanese is living in another country, and her spouse, who has been living in Japan for four years, has passed away, leaving assets both in Japan and in the country. Depending on the situation, applicable rules will differ.

I advise you to consult a tax accountant who is familiar with international inheritance and taxation.


Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information on this article is accurate at the time of posting, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ. If you do require advice or wish to find out more about the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

Text by: Atty. Atsushi Miyake of Miyake Law, July 2021.
Read more original and informative articles here.

Fukuoka Prefecture
Published: Jul 7, 2021 / Last Updated: Jul 7, 2021

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