JAPAN BACKGROUND CHECK

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Our ultimate goal is to find the facts behind the present proposal of association to take wise decision. We are providing you the background investigation Services in all over Japan which is also including Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Kobe, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Kawasaki, Hiroshima, Sendai, Kitakyushu, Chiba, Sakai, Kumamoto etc. Kindly contact us on our email: info@backcheckgroup.com to generate your query and we will revert you in stipulated time accordingly. Due to the sensitive nature of the Services all queries will dealt under strict confidentiality and under the influence of extreme ethical consideration.

General Information

 

GDP

 

USD4919.6 bn (World ranking 3, World Bank 2013)
Population 127.3 mn (World ranking 10, World Bank 2013)
Form of state Parliamentary government with a Constitutional Monarchy
Head of government Shinzo ABE
Next elections 2018, legislative (House of Councillors)

 

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PRODUCTS IN JAPAN

Data Protection

Contribution Details

Lawrence G. Carter

Senior Associate

Ryo Takizawa

Associate

Law

The Act on the Protection of Personal Information (“APPI”) requires business operators who utilize for their business in Japan a personal information database which consists of more than 5,000 individuals in total identified by personal information on any day in the past six months to protect personal information. In addition, various ministries, including the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the Japan Financial Services Agency and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry have created guidelines regarding the APPI. These Guidelines are not laws, but are very persuasive in Japan and generally followed by business operators to which they apply.

Definition of Personal Data

Personal information is information about a living individual which can identify the specific individual by name, date of birth or other description contained in such information. Personal Information includes information which enables one to identify specific individual with easy reference to other information.

Personal data is personal information constituting a Personal Information Database, which is systematically arranged in a way that specific personal information can be easily retrieved by a computer, etc.

Definition of Sensitive Personal Data

The APPI does not have a definition of Sensitive Information. However, the Japan Financial Services Agency’s “Guidelines for Personal Information Protection in the Financial Field” (“JFSA Guidelines”) defines information related to political opinion, religious belief (religion,thought, creed), participation in a labor union, race, ethnicity, family origin, legal domicile (honsekichi), medical care, sexual life and criminal record as sensitive information. The JFSA Guidelines prohibit collecting, using or providing to a third party, sensitive information unless an exception provided for in the JFSA Guidelines applies.

National Data Protection Authority

There is no one single central data protection authority in Japan. The Consumer Affairs Agency is a central authority of the APPI in general.

The Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare as well as the minister with the jurisdiction over the business operations of the business operator are the competent ministers for employment related personal information. The minister with jurisdiction over the business operations of the business operator is a competent minister for the handling of personal information other than employment related personal information.

Registration

Japan does not have a central registration system.

Data Protection officers

There is no specific legal requirement to appoint a data protection officer. However, some guidelines provide that specific employees should be assigned to control personal data (e.g. Chief Privacy Officer).

Collection and Processing

■     Specifying the Purpose of Use

When handling personal information, a business operator must specify to the fullest extent possible the purpose of use of the personal information (“Purpose of Use”). Once a business operator has specified the Purpose of Use, it must not then make any changes to the said purpose which could reasonably be considered to be beyond the scope of what is duly related to the original Purpose of Use. In addition, when handling personal information, a business operator shall not handle the information beyond the scope that is necessary for the achievement of the Purpose of Use without a prior consent of the individual. In other words, the use of the information must be consistent with the stated Purpose of Use.

■     Public Announcement of the Purpose of Use

The Purpose of Use must be made known to the individual when personal information is collected or promptly thereafter and this can be made by a public announcement (such as posting the purpose on the business operator’s website). When personal information is obtained by way of a written contract or other document (including a record made in an electronic or magnetic format, or any other method not recognizable to human senses), the business operator must expressly state the Purpose of Use prior to the collection.

A business operator must “publicly announce” or “expressly show the Purpose of Use” in a reasonable and appropriate way. According to the “Guidelines for the APPI Concerning Fields of Economy and Industry” issued by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (“METI Guidelines”), the most appropriate method for a website to publicly announce the Purpose of Use of information collected, is a one click access on the homepage.

Transfer

■     Disclosing/Sharing Personal Data

Personal data may not be disclosed to a third party without the prior consent of the individual, unless permitted by the exceptions under the APPI. Even disclosing the data within group companies is considered disclosing the data to a third party and consent must be obtained.

The APPI does not provide any examples of how best to obtain consent from individuals before sharing information. Generally, written consent should be obtained whenever possible. When obtaining consent it would be prudent, to clearly disclose to the individual the identity of the third party to whom the personal data will be disclosed, the contents of the personal data and how the third party will use the provided personal data.

If personal data is to be used jointly, the business operator collecting the information could, prior to the joint use, notify the individuals providing the personal information of the following: the fact that the personal data will be used jointly, the items of the personal data used jointly, the scope of the joint users, the purpose for which the personal data will be used by them and the name of the individual or business operator responsible for the management of the personal data.

■     Consents

The METI Guidelines provide the following examples as appropriate methods of obtaining the consent for disclosing personal data from the individual:

–  receipt of confirmation of the oral or written consent (including a record created by electronically or magnetically methods or any other method not recognizable to human senses) from such person;

–  receipt of a consent email from such person;

–  the person’s check of the confirmation box concerning the consents;

–  the person’s click of a button on the website concerning the consents; and

–  the person’s audio input, or touch of a touch panel concerning the consents.

■     Supervision of Trustees

When a business operator entrusts an individual or another business operator with the handling of personal data in whole or in part, it must exercise all necessary and appropriate supervision over the trustee to ensure that the use of the entrusted personal data is securely controlled.

Providing a trustee with personal data under these circumstances is not considered to be disclosing personal data to a third party under the APPI.

Even if this exception does apply, it should be noted that a business operator which entrusts a third party with the handling of personal data has a statutory obligation of supervision over the trustee.

Security

The APPI requires that business operators prevent the leakage of personal data. The APPI does not set forth specific steps that must be taken. Ministry guidelines impose specific steps that business operators should take to ensure that personal data is secure. These necessary and appropriate measures generally include “Systematic Security Control Measures”, “Human Security Control Measures”, “Physical Security Measures” and “Technical Security Control Measures”.

Guidelines often contain several specific steps or examples that entities subject to the Guidelines must take with respect to each of the security control measures such as developing internal guidelines pertaining to security measures, executing non-disclosure contracts with employees who have access to personal data, protecting machines and devices and developing a framework to respond to instances of leakage.

Breach Notification

The APPI does not explicitly require notification to a ministry or governmental authority in the event of a leak or security breach that may lead to a leak of personal data, although a ministry may request that a report be submitted.

However, the JFSA Guidelines provide that a business operator regulated by the JFSA must immediately produce a report when a leakage of personal information occurs. In addition, the business operator must promptly publicize the facts related to the leakage and the steps taken to prevent the re occurrence of similar event. Finally, the JFSA Guidelines require that the business operator notify the individual whose information has been leaked of the leakage.

The METI Guidelines provide suggested measures that business operators, subject to the guidelines, should take if there is a leak or breach of security with respect to personal data.

The METI Guidelines’ measures include the following: (i) a business operator should notify the individuals whose personal data may have been compromised, although there may be circumstances where notifying individuals may not be necessary depending on the specific facts. Relevant factors to consider are the harm (including potential harm) to the individuals concerned; (ii) a business operator should voluntarily file a report of the incident with METI. METI will potentially make such reports public; and (iii) a business operator should make public the nature of the incident, the steps taken to ensure that it does not happen again.

Enforcement

Enforcement of the APPI is handled by the minister with jurisdiction over the business of the business operator; and Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare with respect to the employment.

The minister may:

■     require an business operator to submit reports regarding the handling of personal information;

■     provide necessary advice to the business operator with respect to the entity’s handling of personal information;

■     recommend an business operator to cease violations or correct violations of the specific provisions of the APPI; and

■     order an business operator to take the recommended or necessary measures.

If the business operator does not provide a report as required by a minister or has made a false report the business operator is subject to a fine of up to JPY300,000. If the business operator fails to follow a corrective order by a minister, the business operator is subject to a fine of up to JPY300,000 or imprisonment with work of up to six months. In addition, the entity shall be sentenced to the fine if an officer or an employee of the entity commits any of the above violation concerning the business of the entity.

Electronic Marketing

The Act on Specified Commercial Transactions (“ASCT”) and the Act on the Regulation of Transmission of Specified Electronic Mail (“Anti-Spam Act”) regulate the sending of unsolicited electronic commercial communications.

Under the ASCT, which focuses on internet-order services and mail-order services, a seller is prohibited from sending email advertisements to consumers unless they provide a prior request or consent (i.e. an opt-in requirement). The seller is also required to retain the records that show consumers’ requests or consents to receive email advertisements for 3 years after the last transmission date of an email advertisement to the consumer.

If a seller has breached any of these obligations, such seller will be potentially subject to fine of up to JPY 1,000,000.

Under the Anti-Spam Act, which broadly covers commercial emails (e.g. an invitation email from a social network service), there are several regulations on sending email advertisements as follows:

■     The sender must retain records evidencing there was a request or consent to receive emails at least for 1 month after the last date the seller sent an email to the recipient.

■     For-profit entities or individuals engaged in business sending any email to advertise their own or another’s business must obtain a request or consent to receive emails from intended recipients unless the recipient falls under certain exceptions (e.g. there is a continuous transaction relationship between a sender and a recipient) in the Anti-Spam Act.

■     An email is required to include a sender’s email address or a URL so that recipients can send opt-out notices to the sender.

■     Senders must not send emails to randomly generated email addresses (with the hope of hitting an actual email address) for the purpose of sending emails to a large number of recipients.

The relevant ministry may order a sender to improve the manner of email distribution if the sender violates the requirements noted above. If the sender violates an order issued by the ministry (other than one related to the retention obligation), the sender is subject to imprisonment for up to 1 year or a fine of up to JPY 1,000,000. The entity will be subject to fine of up to JPY 30,000,000 if an officer or an employee of the entity commits any violation mentioned above. If the sender violates an order issued by the minister with respect to the retention obligation, the sender will be potentially subject to fine of up to JPY 1,000,000.

Online Privacy (Including Cookies And Location Data)

There is no law in Japan that specifically addresses cookies and location data. However, if the information obtained through cookies may identify a certain individual in conjunction with other easily-referenced information (e.g. member registration) and it is utilized (e.g. for marketing purposes), such Purpose of Use of information obtained through the use of cookies must be disclosed under the APPI. METI takes the same position in its guidelines.

(Law No.129 of 1999)

(Definition)

“Employee” means a national public service official who is holding a position classified as a regular service. The Prime Minister, Ministers of State, judges and other personnel of the law court, personnel of the Diet, personnel of the Defense Agency, and other officials holding a position classified as a special service are not included.

“Senior official” means an employee whose job title is assistant director or higher.

“Designated senior official” means a senior official whose pay scale is that for designated officials.

“Very senior official” means an employee whose job title is Deputy Director-General or higher.

“Appointing officer” means an official that holds appointing power vested by the provision in the National Public Service Law. It namely designates Ministers, President of the Board of Audit, Presidents of the National Personnel Authority, and the heads of each independent organization.

I. Objective

The objective of this law is to ensure people*s trust for public service, deterring activities that create suspect or distrust against the fairness of performance of duties by introducing necessary measures to contribute to retaining ethics related to the duties of national public service officials, acknowledging that national public service officials are servants of the whole people and their duties are to fulfill public service entrusted by the public.

II. Ethics Principles

(1) Employees shall not give unfair, discriminative treatment to the public, such as giving preferential treatment to any party of the public with respect to information gathered in the performance of their duties, and shall always engage in their duties with fairness, recognizing that they are servants of the whole nation and not of any group thereof.

(2) Employees shall always distinguish between public and private affairs and shall not use their duties or positions for private gain for themselves or the organization they belong to.

(3) Employees shall not take any actions that create public suspicion or distrust against the fairness of public service while performing their duties, such as receiving a gift from entities influenced by their duties.

III. National Public Service Officials Ethics Code

(1) Based on the principles listed in II, the National Public Service Officials Ethics Code (to be hereinafter referred to as “Code”) shall be established as a government order. It shall contain the provisions that employees should obey for preventing the activities which create public suspect or distrust, including interaction of employees with persons or entities whose interests are affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employees* duties. The provisions shall include prohibition of accepting a gift from such persons or entities. The Cabinet shall hear the opinion of the National Public Service Ethics Board when it establishes or revises the Code.

(2) The heads of each ministry and agency may develop their own ethics instructions applied to the employees in the ministries or the agencies with the consent of the National Public Service Ethics Board.

(3) When the Code or an ethics instruction of each ministry and agency described in (2) is revised, the Cabinet shall report the revision to the Diet.

IV. Mandatory Report on Receipt of a Gift

Senior officials shall report to their heads of ministries or agencies when they receive:

A gift or hospitality worth beyond 5,000 yen; and

(b) Compensation for their labor performed based on the relation between an organization or an entity and their duties the amount of which is beyond 5,000 yen from an organization or an entity.

The report described in (1) shall be open to the public upon request (applicable only to the report on the gift, hospitality or compensation worth beyond 20,000 yen.).

A copy of the report described in (1) shall be sent to the National Public Service Ethics Board (applicable only to the report submitted by designated senior officials.).

V. Mandatory Report on Exchange of Stocks and Income

(1) Very senior officials shall report to their heads of ministries or agencies on:

(a) Annual exchange of stocks and bonds; and

(b) Annual income.

(2) A copy of the reports described in (1) shall be sent to the National Public Service Ethics Board.

VI. National Public Service Ethics Board

The National Public Service Ethics Board (to be hereinafter referred to as “Board”),

Which is responsible for the affairs concerning retention of ethics among employees, shall be established in the National Personnel Authority.

The duties and responsibilities of the Board are:

(a) Submitting an opinion concerning the establishment or revision of the National Public Service Officials Ethics Code to the Cabinet with a necessary bill;

(b) Developing a standard of disciplinary actions as punishment against employees violating this law, the Code, or the other regulations based on this law;

(c) Conducting research and studies concerning retention of ethics in national public services;

(d) Planning and coordinating ethics training programmers conducted across ministries and agencies or those conducted within each ministry and agency; and

(e) Giving guidance and suggestion to the heads of ministries and agencies in their effort of establishing and maintaining management systems that encourage employees to follow the Code.

(3) The Board is also entitled to:

(a) Review the copies of reports sent to the Board described in IV (3) and V (2);

(b) Request the appointing officers to investigate the alleged violation of this law, the Code, or the other regulations based on this law, and to take necessary actions at the discretion of the Board;

(c) Approve disciplinary actions imposed by the appointing officers as punishment against the employees violating this law, the Code, or the other regulations based on this law;

(d) Conduct an independent investigation into alleged violation of this law, at the discretion of the Board;

(e) Impose a disciplinary action as punishment against the employees violating this law, the Code, or the other regulations based on this law at the discretion of the Board.

(a) The Board shall be composed of a President and four Members, who, except for the Member referred to in (b) below, shall be appointed by the Cabinet with the consent of the Upper and the Lower Houses of the Diet.

(b) One of the Members of the Board is filled by the person who is appointed by the Cabinet among the Commissioners of the National Personnel Authority.

(5) The Board shall have a Secretariat.

(6) (A) an appointing officer shall report on suspected violation of this law, the Code or the other ethics instructions by the employee to the Board.

(b) An appointing officer shall inform the Board when he/she begins the investigation of suspected violation of this law, the Code or the other regulations based on this law. The Board may request the appointing officer to report about its investigation or give an opinion to the Board. The appointing officer shall report the results of the investigation to the Board when he/she finishes the investigation.

(c) The Board may request an appointing officer to investigate suspected violation of this law, the Code or the other regulations based on this law.

(d) The Board may, when the Board considers it necessary, conduct the investigation of violation of this law, the Code, or other regulations based on this law with an appointing officer.

(e) An appointing officer shall obtain the prior approval of the Board when he/she inflicts a disciplinary punishment due to the violation of this law, the Code, or the other regulations based on this law.

(f) The Board may begin the investigation of the suspected violation of this law, the Code, or the other regulations based on this law, when the Board considers it especially necessary for the retention of ethics related to the duties of national public service officials.

(G) Based on the investigation referred to in (f) above, the Board may give a recommendation to the appointing officer on the disciplinary punishment, or inflict a disciplinary punishment on the investigated employee.

(7) The President, the Members, and employees of the Board who divulge the secret information acquired in the line of duty shall be punished. The punishment shall be penal servitude for up to two years or a fine of up to one million yen, which is more serious than the penal punishment against the other employees violating the duty to preserve secrecy provided in the National Public Service Law.

VII. Ethics Supervisory Officer

(1) Ethic supervisory officers shall be appointed in each ministry and agency.

(2) Ethic supervisory officers shall:

● Give necessary guidance and advice for employees in the ministries or agencies regarding ethics matters;

● Establish management systems for retention of ethics in accordance with the directions by the National Public Service Ethics Board.

VIII. Report to the Diet

The Cabinet shall make an annual report to the Diet regarding the affairs concerning retention of ethics among employees and the measures taken during the year.

IX. Measures for Retention of Ethics among Employees in the Public Corporations

(1) Appropriate measures shall be taken for retention of ethics among employees in the public corporations.

(2) The heads of ministries or agencies shall supervise the public corporations under their jurisdiction with respect to measures taken for retention of ethics among employees

(3) The National Public Service Ethics Board (Board) is entitled to request the heads of ministries or agencies to report measures taken for retention of ethics among employees in the government funded organizations under their supervision. The Board is also entitled to request the heads of ministries and agencies to conduct necessary measures in supervision of these organizations.

X. Miscellaneous

(1) Measures shall be taken for retention of ethics among the public servants in local governments on the basis of the measures provided in this law.

(2) Professors working for national universities and the employees in government corporations such as the postal service, national forestry service, printing and mints are exempt from some provisions of this law, such as the National Public Service Ethics Board’s own investigation and disciplinary actions.

XI. Supplementary Provisions

In this law, the provisions of VI and VII shall be enforced from the day of its promulgation (13 August 1999), the provisions of V (limited to the provisions related to the report of income) from 1 January 2000, and other provisions from 1 April 2000.

The Law was adopted on 1 January 2005.

The purpose of this Law is to provide measures for the prevention of unfair competition and for compensation for damages form unfair competition, etc, in order to ensure fair competition among business entities and the full implementation of international agreements related thereto, and thereby to contribute to the sound development of national economy.

This law has several concrete regulations on prohibition of bribery of foreign public official.

Article 1 the purpose of this Law is to provide measures for the prevention of unfair competition and for compensation for damages form unfair competition, etc, in order to ensure fair competition among business entities and the full implementation of international agreements related thereto, and thereby to contribute to the sound development of national economy.

(Prohibition of bribery of foreign public official)

Article 11-(1) No person shall give, offer or promise any pecuniary or other advantage , to a foreign public official, in order that the official act or refrain from acting in relation to the performance of official duties, or in order that the official, using his position, exert upon another foreign official so as to cause him to act or refrain from acing in relation to the performance of official duties, in order to obtain or retain improper business advantage in the conduct of international business.

Article 11-(2) the term “foreign public official” used in paragraph (1) shall mean any of the following persons:

(I) any person who engages in public services for national or local foreign governments;

(ii) Any person who engages in services for an entity constituted under foreign special

Laws to carry out specific tasks public interest;

(iii) Any person who engages in services for an enterprise of which the number of stocks with the right to vote or the amount of capital subscription directly owned by one or more of national or local foreign government exceeds one-half of that enterprise’s total issued stocks with the right to vote or total subscribed capital, or of which the number of executives (including directors, statutory auditors, trustees, inspectors, liquidators or other persons who engage in management of its business) appointed or named by one or more national or local foreign government exceeds one-half of that enterprise’s executives, and to which special privileges are given by national or local foreign governments to do its business; and such person as defined in the government ordinances as “foreign public official”;

(iv) Any person who engages in public services for an international organization (here in after, an “international organization” means an international organization which is formed either by governments or by an international organization formed by governments)

(v) Any person who exercises a public function which falls under. The authorized competence of national or local foreign governments or an international organization and is delegated by them.

(Penal Provisions)

Article 14-(1) Any person who falls under any of the following items shall be liable for an imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years or for a fine not exceeding 3,000,000 (I) A person who commits, for an unfair purpose, any act of unfair competitions described in Article 2 (1)(I) or (xiii); (ii) A person (excluding a person described in the preceding item) who indicates a falsehood on goods or for services, or in an advertisement or in a document or correspondence used for a transaction, which is likely to mislead, with respect to the place of origin, quality, contents, manufacturing method, use or quantity of such goods or the quality, contents, use or quantity of such services; (iii),(iv),(v),(vi), (Omission) (vii) A person who violated any provision of Article 9, Article 10 or Article 11-(1).

Article 14-(2) (Omission)

Article 14-(3) the offences under Article 14(1) (vii) (limited to the part thereof which relates to Article11-(1)) are subject to article 3 of the Criminal Code (Kei ho Law No 45 of 1907.)

Article 14-(4) (Omission)

(Legal Persons)

Article 15 In the case where a representative, an agent or an employee of a legal person or a person has committed, in relation to the business of the legal person or the person, any of the violations described in the paragraph 1 of receding article (from (iii) to (vi)), in addition to the violator being punished, the legal person shall also be liable for a fine not exceeding 300,000,000 and shall be liable to the same fine described in the preceding article. Supplementary provisions

This Law will come into force on Jan 1, 2005.

These dotted underlined parts are inserted on Jan 1, 2004, (unrelated to the bribery of foreign public officials.)

These solid underlined parts are going to be inserted by the Bill submitted during this regular Diet session.

(Act No.45 of 1907)

Chapter I. Scope of Application

Article 3. (Crimes Committed by Japanese Nationals outside Japan)

This Code shall apply to any Japanese national who commits one of the following crimes outside the territory of Japan:

(xv) The crime proscribed under Article 253 (Embezzlement in the Pursuit of Social Activities)

Article 4. (Crimes Committed by Public Officials outside Japan)

This Code shall apply to any public official of Japan who commits one of the following crimes outside the territory of Japan:

(iii) The crimes proscribed under Article 193 (Abuse of Authority by Public Officials), paragraph 2 of Article 195 (Assault and Cruelty by Special Public Officials) and Articles 197 through 197-4 (Acceptance of Bribes; Acceptance on a Request; Acceptance in Advance; Passing of Bribes to a Third Party; Aggravated Acceptance; Acceptance after Resignation of Office; Acceptance for Exertion of Influence), and the crime of causing death or injury through commission of the crime proscribed under paragraph 2 of Article 195.

Chapter XXV. Crimes of Corruption

Article 193. (Abuse of Authority by public officers)

When a public officer abuses his or her authority and causes another to perform an act which the person has no obligation to perform, or hinders another from exercising such person’s right, imprisonment with work or imprisonment without work for not more than 2 years shall be imposed.

Article 194. (Abuse of Authority by Special public officers)

When a person performing or assisting in judicial, prosecutorial or police duties, abuses his or her authority and unlawfully captures or confines another, imprisonment with or without work for not less than 6 months but not more than 10 years shall be imposed.

Article 195. (Assault and Cruelty by Special public officers)

(1) When a person performing or assisting in judicial, prosecutorial or police duties commits, in the performance of his or her duties, an act of assault or physical or mental cruelty upon the accused, suspect or any other person, imprisonment with or without work for not more than 7 years shall be imposed.

(2) The same shall apply when a person who is guarding or escorting another person detained or confined in accordance with laws and regulations commits an act of assault or physical or mental cruelty upon the person.

Article 196. (Abuse of Authority Causing Death or Injury by Special public officers)

A person who commits a crime proscribed under the preceding two Articles and thereby causes the death or injury of another shall be dealt with by the punishment prescribed for the crimes of injury or the preceding two Articles whichever is greater.

Article 197. (Acceptance of Bribes; Acceptance upon Request; Acceptance in Advance of Assumption of Office)

(1) A public officer or arbitrator who accepts, solicits or promises to accept a bribe in connection with his/her duties shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 5 years; and when the official agrees to perform an act in response to a request, imprisonment with work for not more than 7 years shall be imposed.

(2) When a person to be appointed a public officer accepts, solicits or promises to accept a bribe in connection with a duty to be assumed with agreement to perform an act in response to a request, the person shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 5 years in the event of appointment.

Article 197-2. (Passing of Bribes to a Third Party)

When a public officer, agreeing to perform an act in response to a request, causes a bribe in connection with the official’s duty to be given to a third party or solicits or promises such bribe to be given to a third party, imprisonment with work for not more than 5 years shall be imposed.

Article 197-3. (Aggravated Acceptance; Acceptance after Resignation of Office)

(1) When a public officer commits a crime proscribed under the preceding two Articles and consequently acts illegally or refrains from acting in the exercise of his or her duty, imprisonment with work for a definite term of not less than 1 year shall be imposed.

(2) The same shall apply when a public officer accepts, solicits or promises to accept a bribe, or causes a bribe to be given to a third party or solicits or promises a bribe to be given to a third party, in connection with having acted illegally or having refrained from acting in the exercise of the official’s duty.

(3) When a person who resigned from the position of a public officer accepts, solicits or promises to accept a bribe in connection with having acted illegally or having refrained from acting in the exercise of his or her duty with agreement thereof in response to a request, the person shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 5 years.

Article 197-4. (Acceptance for Exertion of Influence)

A public officer who accepts, solicits or promises to accept a bribe as consideration for the influence which the official exerted or is to exert, in response to a request, upon another public officer so as to cause the other to act illegally or refrain from acting in the exercise of official duty shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 5 years.

Article 197-5. (Confiscation and Collection of a Sum of Equivalent Value)

A bribe accepted by an offender or by a third party with knowledge shall be confiscated. When the whole or a part of the bribe cannot be confiscated, an equivalent sum of money shall be collected.

Article 198. (Giving of Bribes)

A person who gives offers or promises to give a bribe provided for in Articles 197 through 197-4 shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 3 years or a fine of not more than 2,500,000 yen.

Article 252. (Embezzlement)

(1) A person who embezzles property in his/her possession which belongs to another shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 5 years.

(2) The same shall apply to a person who embezzles his/her own property when the person has been ordered by a public office to hold the property in custody.

Article 253. (Embezzlement in the Pursuit of Social Activities)

A person, who embezzles property which belongs to another in the person’s possession in the pursuit of social activities, shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 10 years.

Article 254. (Embezzlement of Lost Property)

A person, who embezzles lost property, drift property or any other property which belongs to another person and is in no one’s possession shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 1 year, a fine of not more than 100,000 yen or a petty fine.

Article 255. (Application, Mutatis Mutandis)

Article 244 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the crimes proscribed under this Chapter.

Police Background Check Procedures

Only issues police certificate to national governments. Certificate cannot be opened by individuals: http://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/foreign/apply/tokoue.htm
.

Japan – Know Your Customer (KYC) Rules

Japan is a regional financial center. It has one free-trade zone, the Okinawa Special Free Trade Zone, established in 1999 in Naha, to promote industry and trade in Okinawa. The zone is regulated by the Department of Okinawa Affairs in the Cabinet Office. Japan also has two free ports, Nagasaki and Niigata. Customs authorities allow the bonding of warehousing and processing facilities adjacent to these ports on a case-by-case basis. It is not an offshore financial center.

Japan continues to face substantial risk of money laundering by organized crime (including Boryokudan, Japan‘s organized crime groups, and Iranian drug trafficking organizations), extremist religious groups, and other domestic and international criminal elements. The major sources of money laundering proceeds include drug trafficking, fraud, loan-sharking (illegal money lending), remittance frauds, the black market economy, prostitution, and illicit gambling.

In the past year, there has been an increase in financial crimes by citizens of West African countries, such as Nigeria and Ghana, who are resident in Japan. There is not a significant black market for smuggled goods, and the existence of alternative remittance systems is believed to be very limited in Japan.

KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs:

A PEP is an abbreviation for Politically Exposed Person, a term that describes a person who has been entrusted with a prominent public function, or an individual who is closely related to such a person. The terms PEP, Politically Exposed Person and Senior Foreign Political Figure are often used interchangeably

    • Foreign PEP:  NO
    • Domestic PEP: NO

Japan – KYC covered entities

The following is a list of Know Your Customer entities covered by Japanese Law:

    • Financial institutions
    • Real estate agents and professionals
    • Precious metals and stones dealers
    •  Antique dealers
    • Postal service providers
    • Lawyers
    • Judicial scriveners
    • Certified administrative procedures specialists
    • Certified public accountants
    • Certified public tax accountants
    • Trust companies

Japan – Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) Requirements:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 337,341 in 2011

The following is a list of STR covered entities covered by Japanese Law:

    • Financial institutions
    • Real estate agents and professionals
    • Precious metals and stones dealers

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: 191
Convictions: Not available

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

Although the Japanese government continues to strengthen legal institutions to permit more effective enforcement of anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) laws, Japan‘s compliance with international standards specific to financial institutions is notably deficient. In April 2011, Japan amended its basic AML law, the Criminal Proceeds Act, to improve customer due diligence (CDD) requirements, including by requiring financial institutions to identify the customer‘s name, address, and date of birth, and to verify the purpose of transaction, business activities and beneficial owners. However, while the government is in the process of formulating the subordinate decrees, these requirements do not come into effect until April 28, 2013.

The Government of Japan (GOJ) has not implemented a risk-based approach to AML/CFT, and there is currently no mandate for enhanced due diligence for higher-risk customers, business relationships, and transactions. While the April 2011 amendments to the Criminal Proceeds Act call for financial institutions to verify a customer‘s assets and income in certain higher risk situations, they delineate those situations as those where it is suspected that false identity is being used, rather than by increased risks presented by such factors as business type, customer location, or type of transaction. The current regulations also do not authorize simplified due diligence, though there are exemptions to the identification obligation on the grounds that the customer or transaction poses no or little risk of money laundering or terrorist financing. Japan should implement a risk-based approach to its AML/CFT regime.

The GOJ‘s number of investigations, prosecutions, and convictions for money laundering in relation to the number of drug and other predicate offenses is low, despite the GOJ‘s many legal tools and programs to combat these crimes. The National Police Agency (NPA) provides limited cooperation with other GOJ agencies, and most foreign governments, on nearly all criminal, terrorism, or counter-intelligence-related matters. The GOJ should develop a robust program to investigate and prosecute money laundering offenses, and require enhanced cooperation by the NPA with its counterparts in the GOJ and foreign missions.

The GOJ‘s system does not allow the freezing of terrorist assets without delay, and in practice the Ministry of Finance has frozen terrorist assets in only a few cases. Japan‘s system does not cover assets raised by a non-terrorist for use by a terrorist or terrorist organization, and reaches only funds, not other kinds of assets. The GOJ should enact legislation to allow terrorist assets to be frozen without delay, and to expand the scope of assets to include non-financial holdings.

Japan should provide more training and investigatory resources for AML/CFT law enforcement authorities. As Japan is a major trading power, the GOJ should take steps to identify and combat trade-based money laundering.

Japan should become a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption, and should fully implement the freezing obligations for terrorist funds, according to the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

Risk

Sovereign risk

The Economist Intelligence Unit expects the economy to stage a modest recovery in 2015-16, following the volatility of 2014 caused by the increase in the consumption tax rate from 5% to 8% in April that year. That said, the consumption tax increase and buoyant corporate tax receipts will help to restrict the government’s bond issuance to less than Â¥40trn (US$328bn) in fiscal year 2015/16 (April-March), a feat that was last achieved in 2009.

Banking sector risk

Very low interest rates will help firms and households to meet their debt-servicing obligations in 2015-16.

Political risk

Political parties are preparing for upcoming local elections, but the biggest test for the government will be an election for one-half of the House of Councillors (the upper house of parliament), which is scheduled for July 2016. Although the government has a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives (the lower house), it does not enjoy the same position in the upper chambera necessary condition if it is to make amendments to the constitution.

Economic structure risk

The public debt/GDP ratio stood at 230% in 2014. The government is likely to be able to continue to roll over its obligations relatively easily and cheaply in 2015‘16, but substantial efforts to widen the tax base and cut spending will be needed if the country is to head off a future sovereign payments crisis..

Travel Risk

Security

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.

March 2011 earthquake

On March 11, 2011, a strong earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale occurred in the North Pacific Ocean, generating a powerful tsunami that struck the Pacific coast of Japan. The situation has returned to normal in most parts of the country; however, reconstruction efforts are ongoing in those areas of Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures most affected by the earthquake and tsunami, and some transportation routes may not be operational, especially along the Pacific coast. Before you travel to these areas, ensure that you have secured accommodation and transportation, and follow the advice of local authorities.

Crime

Crime against foreigners is low. Petty crime occurs on occasion. Crime may be more frequent in large cities, particularly in entertainment districts (see below). Inappropriate touching often occurs in busy subway and commuter trains during morning and evening commuting hours.

Exercise caution in all entertainment and nightlife districts throughout Japan and especially in Tokyo’s Roppongi, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ikebukuro areas. Foreigners are increasingly targeted in incidents of drink spiking, which can be combined with credit card fraud and physical or sexual assault. Never leave your drink unattended and pay attention when drinks are prepared and served. If possible, avoid carrying credit cards when frequenting nightclubs in any entertainment district. Foreigners have reported being overcharged at bars and clubs.

Transportation

Traffic drives on the left. Travel by motor vehicle is challenging: roads are narrow, signs are in Japanese and city traffic is congested. Do not turn on a red light unless it is specifically authorized. Roads in mountainous areas are often closed during winter.

Have your destination written in Japanese if you travel by taxi as drivers may not understand English.

See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Emergency services

Dial 110 to reach police and 119 for firefighters and ambulance.

Tourists and foreign residents may obtain assistance (in English) via telephone hotlines. The Tokyo English Lifeline provides counselling and referrals (tel. 03-5774-0992). Additional referrals may be obtained from the Embassy of Canada to Japan in Tokyo.

Address Format

RECIPIENT

[BUILDING] [APARTMENT]
HOUSE_NUMBER STREET_NAME
DEPENDENT_LOCALITY
LOCALITY, PROVINCE POSTAL_CODE
JAPAN

Sample

SHINZO SATO
6-11 SHIMOHONDA
KOYASU-CHO
HACHIOJI-SHI, TOKYO-TO 192-0993
JAPAN

Summary

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast
2013-03-07 11:50 PM Q4 2012 0.5% 0.3%

 

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