If you’re a foreigner living in Japan, trying to navigate and understand Japanese laws can be difficult, even if you speak the language. This series will touch on topics of interest to foreigners living in Fukuoka. The text presented here is provided in its entirety by Atsushi Miyake, an attorney-at-law based in Fukuoka City who speaks English fluently. He can be contacted here. This series will be updated monthly, so check back here to read new topics.
Passing the Baton
I‘ve been writing articles for Fukuoka Now since July 2018. However, as I now specialize in commercial disputes and do not practice in areas in which most readers have interest, I pass the baton onto Ms. Masayo Boston, a legal professional who could better meet readers’ needs. In my last article, based on my experience receiving inquiries from readers over the past four years, I will sort out the types of inquiries and briefly advise how they should be handled… Read more
Digital Reform of Civil Procedures
Japan is far behind other major countries in digitalization in civil procedures. For instance, Singapore started electronic filing in 1998, while Korea began to do the same in 2011. In Japan, on the other hand, we still exchange court documents on paper and by fax. I’ve personally been frustrated in this situation for a long time. At last, the government will reform the laws to digitalize civil procedures. I will outline the arguments at the time of writing….Read more
What is RCEP?
On 1 January 2022, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) took effect in Japan. Below I’ll introduce RCEP, explaining the idea behind the free trade agreements in general…Read more
Marijuana Law Reform in Japan
Japan’s Cannabis Control Act will likely be reformed in Spring next year. Although the contents of the revision are to be decided in the Diet, we know what is likely to be changed from the report published by the expert committee held by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. I will introduce the contents of the report…Read more
Cookies and The Data Protection Law in Japan
Japan’s Data Protection Law is the Act on the Protection of Personal Information (‘APPI’). Since the laws in this field need to be frequently updated as technology progresses…Read more
How to Sue Someone in Japan (part 3)
Below is the explanation about ordinary proceedings. However, other court proceedings have more or less the same features…Read more
How to Sue Someone in Japan (part 2)
Apart from ordinary proceedings, there are several types of fast-track proceedings and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. Compared to ordinary proceedings (i.e., court litigation), they are less expensive and less formal… Read more
How to Sue Someone in Japan (part 1)
1. Things to think about before suing. (1) Do you have a good case? You may be 100% confident that you have been wronged, and you deserve compensation. However, you need to have the legal basis of a claim (or ‘cause of action’) and… Read more
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… Read more
Update on Regulations on Cryptocurrency in Japan
Back in March 2018, I presented an overview of the regulations on cryptocurrency in Japan, mainly focusing on crypto exchanges in my previous article, Cryptocurrency in Japan. This update includes… Read more
Classifications for Professionals in Japan – Who does What?
We have many types of professionals in Japan, most of which require us to obtain a qualification or licence to practice as a professional. Among other professionals, below are the primary professionals that are related to legal or accounting. Read more
Fukuoka City has announced that it is starting its vaccination program for a portion of elderly residents from April 12. It is expected that all elderly residents will receive a notice and voucher for…Read more
Dispatched Workers and the 3-year Rule
In my previous article, I explained that a contract (or fixed-term) worker has the right of conversion from a fixed-term contract to a non-fixed term contract if their contract has been renewed… Read more
Who Can Cancel the Olympics?
“We’ll certainly proceed regardless of the new coronavirus,” says the Japanese side.Does this sound reasonable in the current situation? How dare they say “regardless”? …Read more
Business Suspension Requests Under The Covid-19 Law
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has expressed his wish to revise the Covid-19 law. The focus is on whether to set penalties for those who refuse to abide by the authorities’ business suspension requests…Read more
Who Owns the Rock and Soil that Hayabusa 2 Delivered to Earth?
On December 5, 2020, a capsule containing rock and soil from an asteroid named Ryugu landed in a barren region near Woomera, South Australia. The samples were collected by the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft which was launched by…Read more
Fukuoka City Became Japan’s First Hanko-free City
Some of you might be able to recall the opening scene of Kurosawa’s film ‘Ikiru’ in which a local civil servant sitting around a pile of documents is affixing a seal to a document one after another without carefully reviewing them. In the film…Read more
Sending Money Abroad and Fintech Companies
When we send money abroad with traditional Japanese banks, they charge various fees, including remittance fees, lifting charge, and recipient/intermediary bank fees. Worst of all, when we send Japanese yen to bank accounts denominated in…Read more
Can Fukuoka Become an International Financial Hub?
Unlikely. However, the government seems to think otherwise. According to Kyodo News, Japan’s central government has decided to target Fukuoka and Osaka to attract companies and skilled people from Hong Kong, Asia’s financial hub facing…Read more
Renting a Flat or House in Fukuoka (part 2)
This is a sequel to my previous post Renting a flat or house in Fukuoka. The information below replies to comment on that post. Do you have a topic regarding law for me to cover? Submit your suggestions here or read my previous posts here. Read more
Air Passenger Rights
We received a comment from a reader via Fukuoka Now’s Facebook page, asking me to write about passenger’s rights regarding flight cancellations. I conducted some research and will explain flight cancellations and the relevant laws here…. Read more
Foreign Workers and Termination of Employment
The employment environment is worsening amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many employees have been dismissed and this trend is likely to continue for a while. Compared with other countries, however, Japanese labor laws give… Read more
Working from Home and Relevant Laws
The Government has been promoting teleworking as part of Work Style Reforms since 2018. I don’t think it went well. However, the new coronavirus outbreak seems to be achieving the same goal in just a few weeks. I will briefly explain the… Read more
Coronavirus: Support for Businesses
The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (“METI”) has set out a package of measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by the coronavirus, including interest-free loans, postponement of tax payments and… Read more
Coronavirus and Absence from Work Law
On February 27, 2020, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requested schools to close until spring vacation. This decision is causing stress for working parents with… Read more
Katakana and Roman Characters
I often help international clients set up companies in Fukuoka. Upon incorporation, the name of the director is registered on the companies register. As Roman… Read more
Owing to Mr. Ghosn’s tactics, the media appears to be mixing up the related but different issues in this matter. Mr. Ghosn is inducing them to… Read more
Leaving a Will in Japan
We will all die someday. At the late stage of life, so it is worthwhile considering those who are left…. Read more.
Renting a flat or house in Fukuoka
I’ve decided to write a series of posts about renting a flat or house in Fukuoka. I have professional experience handling disputes between… Read more.
Exchanging contracts in Japan: seals and signatures (2)
We’ve seen documents and signatures as a formality for concluding contracts in the previous article. I now move on to seals and electronic signatures. Read more.
Exchanging contracts in Japan: seals and signatures (1)
A contract is formed if one party accepts an offer made by the other party. Probably, you know this. However, you may not know whether any formality (e.g. document, signature, seal) is required to make it a legally binding… Read more.
Can foreigners buy property in Japan?
The answer to the question is yes. Foreigners, regardless of their nationality and visa status, can buy property in Japan. There is no restriction and no additional tax, which can be seen in some countries where foreigners can buy properties. In this article, I would like to highlight the difference in… Read more.
Same-sex Marriage in Japan
According to the Mainichi Shimbun article on July 5, 2019, a same-sex (male) couple filed a notice of marriage with a ward office in Fukuoka City on that same day. The city is expected to reject their registration, and the couple say they will initiate legal action against… Read more.
Notary in Japan
We have the notary system like many other countries, but ours in Japan is slightly different from other systems, especially those systems used in countries and regions using the English legal system (England & Wales, Hong Kong, Singapore etc.). In this article… Read more.
Civil Code Reform: Standard Form Contract
Amendments to the Japan Civil Code (“Amendments”) take effect on April 1, 2020. The Amendments are the largest reforms since it became effective in 1898, including the changes to statutes of limitation and statutory interest rate. This article introduces one of the Amendments’ “standard form contracts” which can… Read more.
Can hotels take a photocopy of my ID?
A few weeks ago I received a question from a reader. According to him when non-Japanese check into a hotel in Japan, hotel staff ask to copy their ID. “This is reasonable for a non-resident,” he says. “But for people who have permanent residency like me?” He has lived in Japan for over 30 years. “They do not… Read more.
New One-Year Startup Visa, the First of Its Kind in Japan
As I introduced in my earlier article Fukuoka City National Strategic Special Zone (1) “Startup Visa”, Fukuoka City has been offering a six-month Startup Visa for foreign entrepreneurs who want to start a business in the city, which gives a six-month grace period to said entrepreneurs to prepare to meet the requirements for… Read more.
Tax, National Pension and National Health Insurance for Foreigners
The world has never been smaller and many people are doing business and traveling around the globe. We have more options than ever to choose not only where to live but how to be involved or connected with two or more places across borders. However, the system keeps tabs on us wherever we go. I am not a tax specialist but… Read more.
Status of Residence (Visa) and Residing in Japan
On December 8, the new Immigration Act was passed at the House of Councilors, the upper house of the Diet of Japan, and thus enacted. It comes into force from April and Japan will accept hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers from abroad. On this occasion… Read more.
Establishing a Business in Fukuoka
As Japan is single jurisdiction unlike the United States, Germany and Australia, there is no difference in formalities and requirements for establishing and doing a business anywhere in Japan. However, some local governments such as Fukuoka City offer various incentives and support to foreign individuals or… Read more.
Fukuoka City National Strategic Special Zone (3) “Financial Aid for Renting Residential and Office Spaces”
Office and house rental fees in Fukuoka are considerably lower than in bigger cities in Japan such as Tokyo and Osaka. According to the statistics published by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in 2013, which is the latest available version, an average house rent per one mat [*1] in Fukuoka (¥2,541) is half as expensive as… Read more.
Fukuoka City National Strategic Special Zone (2) “Tax Reduction for Startups”
In the United States, where the corporation tax rate used to be the highest among the OECD countries, a bill slashing it from 35% to 21% was passed in December 2017. France, which took the place of the US and is now ranked first, is also planning to reduce its corporation tax rate from 33.3% to… Read more.
Fukuoka City National Strategic Special Zone (1) “Startup Visa”
It has recently been announced that the Immigration Bureau of Japan will be upgraded from a bureau to an agency from April 2019. This move is related to the plan to introduce a new status of residence to accept more blue-collar laborers from abroad with a view to compensating the shortage in the Japanese labor force. While the national government appears to… Read more.
Cryptocurrency in Japan
On March 29, 2018, Mr. Exchange, a cryptocurrency exchange located in Fukuoka, announced on their website that they decided to withdraw the application for registration as a cryptocurrency exchange in response to an administrative guidance given by Japan’s Financial Service Agency (“FSA”) three weeks before the announcement. This decision reflects… Read more.
Termination of Employment Contracts for Assistant Language Teachers or “Guest Teachers” in Fukuoka
In February 2018 the Fukuoka Board of Education (“BoE”) adopted their new plan to outsource the teaching for Foreign Language Activities (“FLAs”) at elementary schools to a temp agency and to assign teachers to the schools. Taking charge of these classes alongside the regular class teachers had been Guest Teachers (“GTs”), who were searched and… Read more.