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Japan: Plan to Videotape Police Interviews with Criminal Suspects

(Feb. 22, 2010) The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the largest member of the country's ruling coalition since the fall of 2009, had submitted a bill to the Diet (parliament) in early 2009 that would have obligated the police and public prosecutors to videotape interviews with criminal suspects. (House of Councillors Bill No. 10, 171st […]

Japan: Child Pornography Law Amendment Discussed

(Jan. 29, 2010) “Japan is one of the world's biggest suppliers of child pornography and the second biggest consumer after the U.S.” (Justin McCurry, Japan to Outlaw Possession of Child Porn, GUARDIAN, Mar. 10, 2008, available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/10/japan.) The possession of child pornography is not at present illegal in Japan. The Act on Punishment of […]

Japan: Catalog/Online Shopping and Door-to-Door Sales Regulation Enhanced

(Nov. 27, 2009) The 2008 amendment of Japan's Act on Specified Commercial Transactions (Act No. 57 of 1976, as amended by Act No. 74 of 2008) will be fully effective on December 1, 2009. The Consumer Affairs Agency is publicizing the amendment. Among other changes, adopted in regard to such matters as e-mail advertisement and […]

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 […]

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 […]

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; Vietnam: Economic Partnership Agreement Signed

(Jan. 23, 2009) On December 25, 2008, Vietnam and Japan concluded an Economic Partnership Agreement; it is expected to come into effect early in 2009, following ratification by each party. It was signed in Tokyo by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Hirofumi Nakasone, and the Minister for Industry and Trade of the Socialist […]

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 […]