Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Japan's regulation on bitcoin

It is reported that the Japanese government is considering not to control the transactions using bitcoins but just to introduce a system where bitcoin exchangers are requested to file a prior notification to the government before they do business.

Article from Mainichi

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tokyo's Special Zone for Asian Headquarters

Starting from April 1, 2013, Tokyo began to assist foreign companies to establish their headquarters in Tokyo. Foreign companies which registered their headquarters in this special area can enjoy the following benefits:

- Effective corporate tax rate shall be cut down to 28.9%, compared with the normal rate of 38%.
- Local government subsidizes half of company establishment cost such as fees related to obtaining "status of residence", fees for registering the establishment of the headquarters/R&D center and other relevant filing procedures and recruitment costs.

There are some conditions to apply for these subsidies.  Please contact us for details.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Update your company registration of officers

Don't forget to update your company register of officers of your company regularly.

A KK (Kabushiki Kaisha) is the most popular form of corporation in Japan, and it should stipulate the term of office of directors (and auditors, if any) in the Articles of Incorporation. You can decide the term of directors from one year up to ten years, and once stipulated, you are requested to follow the rule.

Suppose you stipulate the directors' term of office as two years, the Articles of Incorporation usually have the following phrase:
Article XX The term of office of directors shall expire at the close of the ordinary general meeting of shareholders for the last business year that will end within two years after their election.
To conform with this article, you are requested to biyearly elect directors at the ordinary general meeting of shareholders, and register it.

If you don't do this or filing is delayed, the representative of the company shall be punished by a non-penal fine.  The amount of fine is usually around JPY100,000.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Corporate Auditor in Japan

Many people ask me the roles and liabilities of corporate auditors in Japan. The following article of Japan Corporate Auditors Association replies to such questions from various points of view.

About Corporate Auditor

Please note that there are a (corporate) auditor (Kansa-yaku) and an accounting auditor (Kaikei-kansa-nin) in Japanese companies.  The names are similar, but the role of the two institutions are different.  The article I introduced here is about the former one.

An accounting auditor should be a licensed Japanese accountant or an accounting corporation.  Therefore, if you are asked to be an auditor, it is usually the corporate auditor.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Increase of Consumption Tax

Japan parliament passes sales tax rise; ruling party splits (Reuters)

A historic bill to raise the consumption tax passed the Diet. Currently, the Japanese consumption tax (sales tax) rate is 5%. The rate will be increased to 8% in April of 2014, and reach 10% in October of 2015.

I agree to the idea that the direct-indirect tax ratio should be rectified in the long run, but increasing the rate at this economically tough time will undermine the unstable Japanese economy.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Downloading illegal contents are subject to punishment

On June 15, amendment to the Copyright Act was approved at the The House of Representatives, and is expected to pass the Diet soon.

Downloading illegal contents had been illegal from before, but there was no punishment.

By this amendment, an act of downloading the illegal contents such as illegally uploaded music files shall be punishable by imprisonment with work for a term not more than two years or by a fine of not more than two million Yen.

The amendment also made ripping a copy-protected DVD beyond the scope of reproduction for private use.

Punishment for ripping has not been introduced yet, while providing software to rip copy-protected DVDs became punishable.

Edit (June 22):

This change will be effective from October 1, 2012.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Opening a bank account becoming difficult

Due to regulations to prevent money laundering, opening a bank account in Japan has become increasingly difficult, especially for a dummy company.

Of course, Japan has to comply with FATF recommendations, but the recent tightening of regulations made it very tough to open a bank account, even for the companies doing legitimate business.

The banks usually request the evidence of actively doing business such as the office lease contract, utility bills paid by the company, and so forth.

If you do have such a document, it is an effortful task, though you can still do it after enduring hardships.