Newsletter

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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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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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2018

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2021

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 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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2021

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2020

Newsflash Subsidies for Employers related to COVID-19 (May 2020)

To alleviate the financial burden of employers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japanese government has decided to subsidize certain employment related cost-reduction measures which may contribute to the avoidance of dismissals. In this Newsflash we describe the main measures for which employers may obtain governmental subsidies.

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Newsflash COVID-19 Labor Relations (2) (April 2020)

In the current situation, many companies are considering HR-related measures to cope with the economic challenges they are facing. Such measures may range from requesting employees to take part of their annual paid leave to outright salary cuts or redundancy. This newsflash addresses some legal issues to be considered by the employer from a labor law perspective.

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2019

Newsletter Labor Law Work-Style Reform (January 2019)

After a number of prominent fatalities that have been linked to excessive working hours at some of Japan’s largest corporations in 2015 / 2016 and increasing public pressure, the government initiated a so-called “Work-Style Reform”. The reform aims at reducing excessive overtime hours of employees in order to prevent stress-induced illnesses and nourish a more balanced work-life culture. At the same time, the government strives to bring more flexibility to the labor market and increase productivity as Japan is facing an unprecedented socio-economic challenge with its aging population and shrinking labor force.

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2018

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