FAQ

July 13, 2017

Is it OK for a parent and two children to ride together on a bike?

There are special laws relating to multiple people riding on a single bicycle.  Breaking one of these rules can result in a fine of up to 20,000 yen.  Normally, only one person should ride a bicycle at a time, but a rider over 16 years of age may carry up to two additional preschoolers (6 years or under) on specialized seats on the bike or somehow securely attached to the driver (if under 4 years).
June 21, 2017

How is land valued for inheritance tax in Japan?

Inheritance tax in Japan is progressive.  Therefore the exact value of the inherited assets must be clear before the tax can be accurately calculated.  For some assets, like bank accounts, this valuation is easy.  In other cases, like real property, the value can be less clear.  In general, inheritance tax for real property will usually be calculated based upon the value used for property tax purposes.
May 29, 2017

What types of bicycle laws are there in Japan?

Laws relating to bicycles in Japan are not always enforced, but the failure to follow the following rules could result in a 20,000 yen fine.  Bikes must use a designated bike lane if available; otherwise they should stay on the half of the sidewalk closer to the curb.  When biking on the sidewalk you must stop the bike if continuing would block the passage of pedestrians and you must keep at a slow enough speed so it is possible to stop the bike immediately.
May 10, 2017

Are charitable gifts subject to Japanese inheritance tax?

Sometimes a will specifies that part of the estate should be given to a religious organization or a charity.  In these cases, if the inheritor meets certain conditions, the religious organization or charity may not need to pay any inheritance taxes.  This rule encourages people to leave their money to charities or other worthwhile causes.