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"Newsletter-2021"

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Newsletter German Supply Chain Act (October 2021)

German Supply Chain Act

The new German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (the “Act”) introduces compliance obligations to prevent human rights and certain environmental risks along the entire value chain, from exploiting raw materials until delivering the final product to end customers. The Act follows a global trend of requiring companies to monitor their compliance with human rights and environmental core values.

While only a fraction of the corporate entities in Germany is directly covered by the Act, the legislator intended to create a ripple effect along the supply chain by forcing large German-based companies to scrutinize risks in their business, and to oblige their direct suppliers worldwide to do the same. This means that Japanese subsidiaries of German companies as well as Japanese suppliers should expect requests from their German headquarters or business partners to adopt certain prevention measures in relation to the supplied goods or services. Despite coming into effect only in 2023/2024, the new rules create considerable reporting obligations that call for immediate attention.

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Newsletter Reform of German Competition Law Part 2 (May 2021)

Part 2: “Updating” the Competition Act

The recent amendment of the Competition Act is entitled “Act for Digitizing the Competition Act”. The German legislator is the first worldwide to address many of the challenges of digital ecosystems that have been discussed at global level over the past few years.

Public debate in Germany has focused on a new provision aimed at regulating “GAFA” (short for: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), the giants of the data economy (see below section 3).

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Newsletter Reform of German Competition Law (April 2021)

Part 1: Unburdening small and medium-sized companies

The German Act Against Restraints of Competition (“Competition Act”) has been amended to address challenges of the digital economy, to make merger control more efficient for small and medium-sized companies, and to implement EU legislation. This reform of January 2021 concerns several aspects that are of relevance to foreign investors. Those aimed at unburdening small and medium-sized companies will be outlined in this newsletter. A subsequent newsletter will give an overview of the tightened antitrust rules for “Big Data” companies.

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Newsletter Re-Employment after Retirement Age (March 2021)

Japan is one of the world’s most rapidly ageing societies. Along with the traditionally high life expectancy, the country’s fertility rate is at a continuously low level. According to the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, as of September 2020, nearly 30% of Japanese are already 65 years or older. The effects of this demographic change are noticeable. Along with the increasing competition for qualified junior employees, the ageing workforce poses new challenges for employers.

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Newsletter Setting-up Business in Japan (February 2021)

Japan continues to attract the interest of foreign investors, wishing to establish or expand their own business presence in this market. Japanese corporate law provides for a broad variety of legal types of investment, the most prevalent of which are described in this newsletter. These include the representative office (I.), the branch (II.), the joint stock corporation (III.) and the limited liability company (IV.). Whereas the stock corporation traditionally enjoys the highest reputation with banks and business partners and for this reason is most frequently chosen for the establishment of a new legal entity, also the limited liability company has been gaining popularity due to its flexible structure and ease to administer.

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