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.