Japan: Japan Legal Update | Vol. 31

Labor & Employment

Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Requests Employer Associations to Prepare for the Conversion Rule

As April 1, 2018, will mark the fifth year since the "Rule on conversion of fixed-term employment to permanent employment" ("Conversion Rule") was enacted to stabilize the employment of fixed-term employees, an increasing number of eligible employees ("Eligible Employees") will soon begin applying for permanent employment contracts. Given the impending situation, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is advising employer associations such as the Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) to be well prepared for the incoming impact of the Conversion Rule. The following is a brief overview of the Conversion Rule:

Requirements

  • The combined contract term of two or more fixed-term employment contracts with the same employer exceeds five years.
  • An Eligible Employee applies for a permanent employment agreement before the expiration of his or her fixed-term employment contract ("Last Contract") with which the combined contract term exceeds five years.

Effect

If an Eligible Employee makes a timely application, a permanent employment contract between the Eligible Employee and the employer will become effective the day following the expiration date of the Last Contract. The employment conditions of the permanent contract will be identical to those in the Last Contract, unless otherwise provided for in a collective agreement, work rules, or employment contract.

Since it will take some time to prepare for the Conversion Rule, we recommend that all employers promptly begin their preparations, including revising any applicable rules. In addition, employers should take into account that an employer may not legally refuse the renewal of an employment contract with an employee before he or she becomes an Eligible Employee.

Privacy

Supreme Court Issues Decision on Personal Information Leakage

The Supreme Court (Second Petty Bench) issued a decision on October 23, 2017, overruling an Osaka High Court original decision that had dismissed a claim for damages filed by a plaintiff, an individual who alleged that the leak of the plaintiff's personal information (including the plaintiff's name, date of birth, address, telephone number) possessed by the defendant, a correspondence education provider, caused the plaintiff mental distress. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the Osaka High Court for further action regarding the defendant's negligence, the plaintiff's mental damage and its degree, etc.

There are several judicial precedents affirming that plaintiffs may claim damages for infringement of their privacy rights due to personal information leakage. Some of the existing precedents support damage claims in the range of Ą5000–10,000 based on types of mental distress, such as anxiety, even without any proof of harassment or financial loss due to the misuse of personal information. By contrast, the Osaka High Court's decision in the instant case had ruled that discomfort or anxiety alone was insufficient grounds for damages. The Supreme Court's recent decision overruled this decision and suggested the possibility that a court may recognize mental distress such as discomfort or anxiety as the basis for damages in cases of personal information leakage.

Due to the widespread adoption of technological developments including big data and the Internet of Things, we expect that the number of opportunities for companies to deal with large amounts of personal information will increase dramatically in the future and that the potential liability due to personal information leakage may be very large. Any company dealing with personal information in Japan should carefully review the Supreme Court's decision and the progress of the remanded trial, as well as reconsider the possible economic impact of, and countermeasures against, leaks of personal information.

Intellectual Property

First Registration of Sound Trademarks Consisting Only of Musical Elements

Since April 1, 2015, the Japan Patent Office ("JPO") has been accepting applications for certain new types of trademarks, including those consisting of sounds and colors in accordance with the Trademark Act as amended in 2014. Recently, the JPO accepted the registration of sound trademarks consisting only of musical elements such as melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo and tone (i.e., sound trademarks containing no language elements) for the first time. Any company using distinctive sound marks as part of its business may want to consider registering such trademarks as a way of enhancing its brand.

Disputes

Interim Proposal for the Amendment of the Civil Execution Act

September 8, 2017, the Civil Execution Act Committee of the Legislative Council prepared the Interim Proposal for the Amendment of the Civil Execution Act ("Interim Proposal") and opened up the Interim Proposal for public comments until November 10, 2017. As mentioned in October 2016 issue, there has been some concern as to whether the new system would cause financial institutions to disclose debtor information concerning deposit or savings accounts ("Accounts") because of the practical difficulty of securing the attachment of such Accounts. The Interim Proposal expressly prescribes that: (i) upon petition by a creditor, an execution court can obtain certain information from financial institutions regarding the existence of Accounts and other items necessary to petition the attachment of such Accounts; and (ii) the procedure would substantially follow the procedure used for property disclosure under the same act. Future discussions by the Legislative Council should be continuously monitored to see how the outline of the bill will be prepared after accounting for the public comments.

General

Enforcement Date of Private Residence Lodging Business Act Announced

On October 27, 2017, the Cabinet Order to Specify an Enforcement Date of the Private Residence Lodging Business Act was promulgated. The Private Residence Lodging Business Act will come into force on June 15, 2018. For details, please see the July 2017 issue of this newsletter.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Events from this Firm
13 Dec 2017, Seminar, Cleveland, United States

Jones Day partners Harold Gordon and Tony Dias, and Associate Courtney Snyder will explore the significant role New York's Attorney General and its Department of Financial Services (DFS) play in the financial services industry and why these two state-level agencies will continue to exert significant power over the financial services industry, especially with federal oversight potentially shrinking.

 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

    Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of www.mondaq.com

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

    Disclaimer

    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

    Registration

    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

    Cookies

    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

    Links

    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

    Mail-A-Friend

    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

    Emails

    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .

    Security

    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions