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Japan: Is a Sightseeing Trip by a Member of the U.S. Military Part of “Official Business”?

(Oct. 22, 2009) Japan's Board of Audit decided to recommend to the Ministry of Self Defense (MSD) that the MSD investigate the use of highway toll passes by members of U.S. troops stationed in Japan and define the “official purposes” for which U.S. troops are entitled to move between facilities free of tolls. Under article […]

North Korea: Revision to the Constitution

(Oct. 20, 2009) The Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) of North Korea unanimously adopted the ordinance of the SPA On Revising and Supplementing the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea” on April 9, 2009. The contents of the revision have not been made public by the North Korean government. However, in late […]

South Korea: Food Reuse Regulated

(July 31, 2009) The reuse of food in restaurants in Korea has been a source of contention among consumers, the government, and restaurants. Korean cuisine features small side dishes that complement the main dish. When patrons leave amounts of the side dishes uneaten, restaurants have reused the food by serving it to subsequent customers. Restaurants […]

Japan: Two Laws Revised to Protect Technology

(July 7, 2009) Two national laws were amended this year to protect the technology and trade secrets of firms in Japan. The amendment of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law was promulgated on April 30, 2009 (Law No. 30 of 2009). The old law did not punish acts of revealing business secrets for the purpose of […]

Japan: Major Reform on Fund for Road Improvements

(May 4, 2009) The revision of the Special Law for Financing Road Improvement Works was promulgated on April 30, 2009 (Law No. 28 of 2009). Since 1954, the Law has limited the spending of revenue from gasoline tax and other road-related taxes to be used outside of road-related expenditures. At the time of the Law's […]

South Korea: Foreign Legal Consultants Law

(May 1, 2009) The Foreign Legal Consultants Law was promulgated in South Korea on March 25, 2009 (Act No. 9524). Under the Law, foreign legal professionals certified in countries with free trade agreements with South Korea or in World Trade Organization treaty countries, who have a minimum three years of experience, can transact business in […]

Japan: National Public Official Retirement Allowance Law Amendment

(Jan. 28, 2009) The National Public Official Retirement Allowance Law was amended by the Diet (Japan's parliament), and the new version was promulgated on December 26, 2008 (Law No. 95 of 2008). The amended Law enabled the government to enforce the return of a paid retirement allowance from a retired official if a scandal is […]

Japan: Refueling Mission in the Indian Ocean Extended

(Dec. 19, 2008) Japan's Self Defense Forces have refueled other countries' vessels in the Indian Ocean to support the U.S.-led effort in Afghanistan since 2001, under Japan's limited-term anti-terrorism legislation (Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law, Law No. 113, of 2001). When the original anti-terrorism legislation expired in November 2007 after several extensions, the Special Measures Law […]

Japan: Nationality Law Amended

(Dec. 17, 2008) The Diet (Japan's parliament) passed a bill to revise the Nationality Law on December 5, 2008. It was promulgated December 12 as Law No. 88 of 2008. Some parts of the amendment were effective upon the date of promulgation of the Law, and the rest will be effective 20 days later. The […]

South Korea: Government Values Diplomacy over Freedom of Speech Regarding Propaganda to the North

(Nov. 26, 2008) South Korean civic groups, such as the Fighters for Free North Korea and the Family Assembly Abducted to North Korea [sic], are reportedly sending about ten million copies of leaflets to North Korea in balloons every year. The leaflets contain messages stating, for example, that Kim Jong-il has suffered a stroke or […]