Answer ... Well-known foreign trademarks that have not been registered are protected under the Unfair Competition Prevention Act.
A cancellation action under Article 53-2 is also available, as explained in question 8.3.
Furthermore, foreign trademarks that are not registered in Japan may be protected under Article 4(1)(xix) of the Trademark Act, which provides that:
no trademark may be registered if the trademark:
is identical with, or similar to, a trademark which is well known among consumers in Japan or abroad as that indicating goods or services pertaining to a business of another person, if the trademark is used for unfair purposes…
Additionally, the Japan Patent Office Examination Guidelines for Trademarks provide the following clarifications on trademarks that are well known among foreign consumers: “The trademark must be well known in one country other than Japan but is not necessarily required to be well known in several countries. In addition, when the trademark is well known abroad, the fact as to whether or not the trademark is well known in Japan is disregarded.”
Answer ... Yes, registration of a mark is permitted based on an original trademark application filed in a member country of the Paris Convention or the Madrid Protocol.
A trademark application may be filed with the Japan Patent Office claiming priority based on a trademark application filed in a member country of the Paris Convention within six months of the priority date.