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2021

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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2020

Newsletter Amendments to Renewable Energy Related Laws and Regulations (September 2020)

The Act to Amend the Electricity Business Act, Etc. for Establishing a Resilient and Sustainable Electricity Supply System (the “Energy Resilience Act”) was enacted effective as of June 5, 2020 upon the passage of the bill therefor by the House of Councilors of the Japanese Diet. The Energy Resilience Act provides for various amendments to energy-related laws, such as the Act on Special Measures Concerning Procurement of Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources by Electricity Utilities (the “Renewable Energy Special Measures Act”) and the Electricity Business Act, and is planned to be enforced starting from April 1, 2022.

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2019

Newsletter Overtime (October 2019)

Overtime is one of the most sensitive topics in Japanese labor relations. Following the suicide of a young female employee of a major Japanese company in December 2015 due to working extensive hours, resulting in the resignation of the representative director of said company, the Japanese public’s perception of the social and legal consequences of overwork have changed and authorities are again on high alert. As a consequence, overtime related investigations by the competent authorities are expected to increase.

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2018

Newsletter Data Protection (February 2018)

Due to the continuing digitalization of society and business the issue of data protection gains increasing importance also from a legal perspective. Faced with the rapid technological developments, Japan has reformed the Japanese Data Protection Act („Act on Protection of Personal Information“ – „APPI“), which has become effective on 30 May 2017 (“Amendment”). The Amendment is the first major reform of the APPI since its enactment in 2005. This special newsletter provides an overview of the main changes to the APPI as well as the measures companies need to consider in light of the Amendment.

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2021

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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2020

Newsflash BOJ Filing and FDI Category Expansion (August 2020)

On 7 June 2020 a significant amendment concerning filing obligations of foreign investors in Japan under the Japanese Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act (FEFTA) came into effect which widely expanded the scope of mandatory prior-notification obligations to the competent governmental authorities (i.e. the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Ministry or Agency supervising the area of the business concerned) through the Bank of Japan (BOJ).

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2019

Newsletter Labor Law Restructuring Human Resources (October 2019)

An increasingly competitive and cost oriented business environment often requires employers to review and restructure their human resources. Such process may include anything from the revision of salary schemes and compensation conditions to redundancy proceedings or even dismissals. This newsletter highlights some of the legal aspects to be observed when restructuring employment relations, in particular with regard to the adjustment of salary and working hours and the reduction of the company’s workforce.

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Newsletter Corporate Governance Structures (October 2019)

The Japanese Companies Act (JCA) offers several types of corporate governance schemes, which are mainly designed for public “large” corporations (i.e. companies with a paid-in share capital of JPY 500 million or more, or liabilities of JPY 20 billion or more), as such companies are obliged to implement a corporate governance structure prescribed under the law. However, also for private companies.

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2018

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2021

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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2020

Newsflash Balancing Home Office with Office Work (June 2020)

Although the state of emergency has been lifted for the entire territory of Japan on 25 May 2020, the health risks related to COVID-19 persist, and many companies have chosen to continue teleworking (or working from home, “home office”) in one way or another. In this Newsflash we discuss some legal questions resulting from these changes at the workplace and the consequences for employer and employees.

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2019

Newsletter Corporate Governance Structures (October 2019)

The Japanese Companies Act (JCA) offers several types of corporate governance schemes, which are mainly designed for public “large” corporations (i.e. companies with a paid-in share capital of JPY 500 million or more, or liabilities of JPY 20 billion or more), as such companies are obliged to implement a corporate governance structure prescribed under the law. However, also for private companies.

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Newsletter Compliance Power and Sexual Harrasment (September 2019)

Japanese working environments are traditionally characterized by authoritarian management styles with strict hierarchies. This opens the doorway to power games and harassment. This newsletter will explain the most frequent types of harassment and what companies can do to mitigate the risk of harassment cases occurring at their company as well as how to react in the event a harassment claim is made.

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Newsletter Data Protection Update (January 2019)

As of 23 January 2019, Japan and the EU have formally adopted their reciprocal adequacy decision on each other’s data protection framework. The mutual recognition creates the world’s largest area of safe data flow and further business opportunities between Japan and the EU. We would like to highlight some aspects of the reciprocal adequacy decision which companies should be aware of as set forth below.

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2018

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