FAQ

November 7, 2016

Who has the responsibility to repair damage to an apartment in Japan?

In general, Japanese law dictates that lessors are responsible for making the repairs necessary for use of the leased space or object.  In other words, a landlord that rents an apartment is generally responsible for maintaining the apartment in a usable manner.  However, small acts of maintenance (such as changing light-bulbs or repairing the paper on sliding shoji doors) are generally expected to be performed by the tenant during the course of the lease.
November 29, 2016

Is there an escrow system in Japan?

The Japanese government operates a public system very similar to escrow called the Deposit system (kyotaku 供託).  Under this system, a party may deposit money (or other negotiable securities) with the government deposit office prior to executing a contract.  Upon completion of the contract the government office will release the money to the relevant party.  This system can be useful if two parties to a contract do not trust each other to keep their promises.  In such case, one party may ask the other to put the money in the Deposit system until the performance is complete to ensure that […]
December 19, 2016

Are International Commerce Terms (Incoterms) used in Japan?

International Commerce Terms (or Incoterms as they are often called) are a set of pre-defined commercial terms that are commonly used in international contracts between businesses.  Many of the terms are three letter abbreviations that appear as common clauses in commercial contracts.  Japanese business that rely on import or export of goods will regularly include these standard terms in agreements with foreign buyers or suppliers.
January 16, 2017

When can rent on property be raised in Japan?

In Japan, traditionally rent is not raised every year and there are there are only 4 statutorily recognized situations where rent may be adjusted.  The Act on Land and Building Leases lists the 4 situations:  1) property taxes have increased or decreased, 2) property values have increased or decreased, 3) some other change in the economic situation, & 4) the rent is inappropriate compared with other properties in the area.  Barring one of these 4 situations, rent should not be adjusted either up or down.  However, situation #3 (change in economic situation) is very vague and can be used to […]