Ohara Law Office

June 23, 2016

What is typically included in a Japanese employment contract?

Employment contracts in Japan generally define the relationship between the employee, the job and the company.  In Japan, an employment contract must clearly state the period of the labor contract, the workplace, job duties, the existence of overtime, the start and end time as well as days off, the wage and rules regarding dismissal.  It is the duty of the employee to check the contract before signing to ensure that he or she agrees with all the terms.  Therefore, it is important to have the contract translated if it is in a language that the employee cannot read.
June 21, 2016

Are business methods covered under Japanese patent law?

Patent law in Japan covers inventions that “utilize the laws of nature.”  This qualification makes Japanese patent law unique and means that inventions that the products of a person’s mind, rules to a game or scientific laws cannot be patented.  Therefore, business method patents, which are designed to protect an intangible business idea, are generally not recognized in Japan.
June 15, 2016

Is there a way to confirm whether a debtor is a real company?

Determining whether a debtor is a real, registered company is an important first step when collecting a debt.  Many individuals who have never incorporated their business will still print business cards with a business’s name and logo in order to seem more like a reputable company.  However, searching the list of registered companies in Japan provides a quick and effective way to determine whether the debtor is a real company or just an individual pretending to own an incorporated business. 
June 13, 2016

Is there a legal aid system in Japan?

The Japan Legal Support Center (JLSC, also known as Houterasu, (法テラス) is public corporation providing legal aid loans to low income individuals.  The JLSC was established under the Comprehensive Legal Support Act passed in 2004.  Qualifying individuals can make inquiries to local law firms regarding civil, divorce or criminal legal issues or a variety of other potential legal problems and have their legal fees prepaid as a loan from the JLSC.