Are there any mandatory provisions that must be included in a contract?

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For the most part, parties have freedom of contract in Japan and are allowed to include, or not include, whatever they want in their contract.  However, there are exceptions to this generally lenient rule and the mandatory provisions included in the Japan Civil Code are one exception.

Certain contracts are subject to special mandatory provisions that are automatically inserted into the contract by law.  One example is for contracts governing the lease of land for the purpose of owning a building.  The Land Lease and House Lease Act provides that these contracts shall have a minimum term of 30 years.  Therefore, the parties have freedom to contract for longer than 30 years, but are prohibited from contracting to any smaller period of time.  Usually these mandatory contract terms are created to protect the weaker contracting party but it is important for both contracting parties to be aware of them.

If you have any questions about contracting in Japan, please contact our office to set up a legal consultation.