Government investigations—Japan—Q&A guide
Government investigations—Japan—Q&A guide

The following Public Law practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Government investigations—Japan—Q&A guide
  • 1. What government agencies are principally responsible for the enforcement of civil and criminal laws and regulations applicable to businesses?
  • 2. What is the scope of each agency’s enforcement authority? Can the agencies pursue actions against corporate employees as well as the company itself? Do they typically do this?
  • 3. Can multiple government entities simultaneously investigate the same target business? Must they coordinate their investigations? May they share information obtained from the target and on what terms?
  • 4. In what fora can civil charges be brought? In what fora can criminal charges be brought?
  • 5. Is there a legal concept of corporate criminal liability? How does the government prove that a corporation is criminally liable for the acts of its officers, directors or employees?
  • 6. Must the government evaluate any particular factors in deciding whether to bring criminal charges against a corporation?
  • 7. What requirements must be met before a government entity can commence a civil or criminal investigation?
  • 8. What events commonly trigger a government investigation? Do different enforcement entities have different triggering events?
  • 9. What protections are whistle-blowers entitled to?
  • More...

Government investigations—Japan—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to government investigations in Japan published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: June 2020).

Authors: Miura & Partners—Masayuki Atsumi; Kentaro Minegishi; Takashi Kiuchi; Tomomi Hioki

1. What government agencies are principally responsible for the enforcement of civil and criminal laws and regulations applicable to businesses?

The following government agencies are principally responsible for the enforcement of laws and regulations applicable to businesses:

  1. the Public Prosecutors Office (PPO) and the Police Department;

  2. the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC);

  3. the Security and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) and Financial Services Agency (FSA);

  4. Consumer Affairs Agency; and

  5. Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC).

2. What is the scope of each agency’s enforcement authority? Can the agencies pursue actions against corporate employees as well as the company itself? Do they typically do this?

Police Department and PPO

Investigations of criminal offences such as fraud, bribery and money laundering are primarily conducted by the Police Department under the supervision of the PPO. The Police Department has the authority of search, seizure and arrest under a warrant issued by the court. In some high-profile or complex white-collar crime cases, the PPO, specifically its Special Investigation Department, may initiate investigation on its own.

JFTC

The JFTC has the authority to conduct investigation into violations of the Act on Prohibition of Private Monopolisation

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