Tobita & Partners provides high quality legal advice and assistance to Japanese, foreign and foreign-based corporations and individuals.

049


Parent's access to children should be protected

On July 26, 2015, an article on Sankei newspaper about a contact was distributed to an internet news website as follows:
A man in his 40s fought with his wife at a family court and obtained the final judgement that the man shall see their daughter twice a month.
However, the wife refused this contact order due to their daughter's illness.
Then, the man applied to the family court for its indirect enforcement and he obtained the judgement that if the wife refuses the contact, she must pay a fine of 10,000 yen per one time.
However, the man could never see his daughter as yet, so he made an appeal.
Nagoya high court judged the wife intentionally refused the contact because there were no submitted materials that objectively confirm their daughter's illness.
Finally the court decided to increase the amount of the fine by four times.
I have been considering that it is a serious problem that contacts between parents and children have not been executed properly in Japan, so this judgement by Nagoya high court seems to be remarkable and revolutionary.
In order to deal with this problem, the rule that "parent's access to children has to be protected" should be respected thoroughly. 
This rule has not been observed properly because its enforceability is weak and easy to be broken with some excuses.
I believe we should keep it in mind that marital problems and parent-child problems are different issues.

022
The revised Corporate Law in 2014 requires Listed Companies to appoint at least one independent director.
In addition, Tokyo Stock Exchange (hereinafter, “TSE”) has formulated the “Japan’s Corporate Governance Code” which requires Companies listed on the First Section or the Second Section of the TSE to appoint at least two independent directors who should fulfill their roles and responsibilities with the aim of contributing to sustainable growth of companies and increasing corporate value over the mid- to long-term. 
This Code has just entered into force from June 1, 2015. 
More precisely, the appointment of independent directors is not obligatory, but if Listed Companies do not appoint independent directors, they should explain sufficient reason.

Overseas investors seem to evaluate the companies highly which have independent directors so most Listed Companies have decided to appoint independent directors.
Many of Japanese Listed Companies hold an ordinary general meeting of shareholders in June, so they are now finding candidates for an independent director. 
In many cases, candidates for independent director are former managers, lawyers or accountants. 
I have been working as an independent director since this June.

It is expected that the system of an independent director shall be more effective and this system will contribute to further development and success of companies, investors and the Japanese economy.

240

The notification about commercial registration from the government has been published on the MOJ website(http://www.moj.go.jp/MINJI/minji06_00086.html). The notification said that you can establish a company in Japan and apply for registration even if all of the representative directors are non-residents.

In order to establish a company, at least one representative director had to be a resident of Japan and he/she had to have an address in Japan, so you had to first find a partner with a Japanese address and establish your company with them. However, from now on, that will become unnecessary.

This change is followed by making the registration rule stricter and non-residents are required to present certification issued by the authorities when they register their foreign address. However, if the company does something wrong and pulls its office out of Japan afterwards, it might be really difficult to file an action against that company and the representative directors. So, there is criticism to this change.

Nevertheless, this deregulation is necessary for attracting foreign investments. It might be impossible to make a system completely free from risks, so we have to do business with such a company in anticipation of such risks. I have high expectations for this change and I hope this will revitalize the economy in Japan.

Moreover, there is news that MOJ will change the rule of Visa (Ordinance for Enforcement of the Immigration Law) this April. So far, you can apply for the "Investor/Business Manager Visa" under the condition that your company has been established in Japan. Starting April, you will be able to apply for the four month Investor/Business Manager Visa if you can present some documents like "Articles of Incorporation" or "Business Plan" and receive a confirmation of Business Purpose. I have high expectations for this change too.

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