The current language learning system in Japan and recommendations for the future improvement

Japanese business start-up consultant

The current norm
In Japan, English is regarded as a second language, so school pupils aged 11 start their English learning at school as a compulsory subject. At the same time, because of the current globalisation, many parents are very keen on their children learning English, and private tuition, such as cram schools and foreign institutions are very popular.

Likely learning methods and a tendency
The idea about learning foreign languages in the early stage of their childhood is effective because of children’s language development, but schools normally focus their students on their grammatical skills, so they tend to rely on paper-based materials. In addition, those textbooks hardly update, so some grammar and vocabulary are old-fashioned. Some private organisations invite native teachers from abroad, but the number of those is very small, thus, the tuition fee tends to be expensive.

Recommendations for improving language learning
To have a good command of English is essential under the current circumstances, so that children deserve a chance to communicate with native English speakers. To do so, online learning would be useful as well as learning at institutions. If children can access the online courses under adult supervision, that would be a great interactive way of improving their communication.

Conclusion
A basic knowledge of learning theories is essential, but not the only consideration, as practical skills are also important. What I would like to emphasise in this report is the balance between traditional methods and practical skills. When schools and organisations consider this point, children can be more sufficient language learners.

司法書士堀明子 – HORIakiko –
司法書士 / ビジネスコンサルタント / ライフ・コーチ
Shiho-shoshi Lawyer / Business consultant / Life coach
Email: horiakiko@lawhelp4u.com
Tel: +81-(0)3-3249-1536 https://lawhelp4u.com/blog/

The family history in Japan

Japanese business start-up consultant

The family record is an official document in Japan that is kept in the local council that stores all changes in family structure from birth to death. Local councils hold records for all births, marriages and deaths for Japanese nationals from 1886. There are much older family records in Japan, but there was no standard format throughout the country, so it is not possible to collect them.

The problem is that those current family records do not state the complete contents of a single family register. When people get married, applied to change, etc., their family records are newly created or transferred. Also, when a local council is revised due to amendments under the Family Registration Law, extra documents could be collected. A family register from birth to death means going back through the decedent’s family record and collecting all the family registers.

In Japan, under the Civil Code, an inheritance directly passes to the heirs upon the death of the deceased, so it is essential to know who the right heirs are. Original records data are written in Japanese only, so when I collect them, I create a family tree chart.

司法書士堀明子 – HORIakiko –
司法書士 / ビジネスコンサルタント / ライフ・コーチ
Shiho-shoshi Lawyer / Business consultant / Life coach
Email: horiakiko@lawhelp4u.com
Tel: +81-(0)3-3249-1536 https://akikohorishihoshosilawyer.wordpress.com/category/inheritance-law-in-japan/

The Dual Agency system in Japan

Japanese business start-up consultant

In Japan, it is common and legally permitted for an estate agent to represent both purchaser and seller in real estate sales transaction. It is called “Dual Agency”.

When an estate agent deals with a real estate sales transaction under the Dual Agency system, the agent can obtain a brokerage fee from both the purchaser and seller, so that many such cases can be seen, especially as major estate agencies positively try to establish a transaction of this type.

The strength of Dual Agency is that both purchaser and seller can expect quick response and a grasp of details concerning the property because only one estate agent is being consulted about the real estate sale transaction and a purchaser can get more detailed information than if two estate agents dealt with the case.

However, a drawback of Dual Agency is that an estate agent might push a seller to reduce the price of their property to make sure quickly of securing the large brokerage fee revenue from both purchaser and seller on the conclusion of the sales contract. It might be an unfavourable transaction for a seller.

It is also common that a Shihoshoshi lawyer, the transactional lawyer for a real estate transaction represents both purchaser and seller and an estate agent generally specifies a particular Shihoshoshi lawyer for the transaction. It is called “Dual Lawyer”.

In some cases, a special clause, such as “the seller should be represented by a designated Shihoshoshi lawyer, specified by the seller or the estate agent for the procedure for transfer of the ownership” is written on sales and purchase agreement. If there is no special clause about a designated Shihoshoshi lawyer in the sales and purchase agreement, it is likely a buyer can choose any lawyer for the procedure for transfer of the ownership. Generally speaking, especially in Tokyo, a buyer pays all the costs of the procedure for transfer of the ownership for the real estate sales transaction. Because of that, a buyer can choose which lawyer to consult for the transaction.

司法書士堀明子 – HORIakiko –
司法書士 / ビジネスコンサルタント / ライフ・コーチ
Shiho-shoshi Lawyer / Business consultant / Life coach
Email: horiakiko@lawhelp4u.com
Tel: +81-(0)3-3249-1536 https://lawhelp4u.com/english/how-to-buy-a-property-in-japan/

Effectiveness of property registration in Japan

Japanese business start-up consultant

In Japan, property transaction will take effect only to the extent of the parties’ intention, which means property registration follows the principle of contract registration.

Property registration mainly includes change of ownership registration. A purchaser needs to register their right in order to assert such a right to a third party but the registration is not indefeasible as it can be altered or cancelled, unlike registration systems in some countries, such as the Torrens system.

A registered owner might not always be the true owner, and accordingly an investigation of rights is necessary before acquisition. This procedure is conducted by an estate agent and Shihoshoshi Lawyer.

The reason of this system is that registration officers have their power only over preparing documents basis and do not undertake a substantive screening review but they are given the power of formal review of the submitted registration documents and power of precise review on their authenticity.

司法書士堀明子 – HORIakiko –
司法書士 / ビジネスコンサルタント / ライフ・コーチ
Shiho-shoshi Lawyer / Business consultant / Life coach
Email: horiakiko@lawhelp4u.com
Tel: +81-(0)3-3249-1536 https://lawhelp4u.com/english/how-to-buy-a-property-in-japan/

The languages I speak

Japanese business start-up consultant

Since I moved to London in 2010, I have been learning English very hard. Under the Japanese educational system, I studied English for more than 8 years at school, but I hardly had a chance to speak English, so I hesitated to talk when I first came to London. Like many Japanese students, I was too shy to talk English, because I was so afraid of failure, and I think it is sort of psychological self defence. As a human being, I wanted to look good and be thought to be good. However, if that becomes my first priority, I believe I cannot make progress. Thus, I decided to dive into the British society.

In 2010, there were some organisations which supported migrants to integrate into society. Speaking a local language is essential to make a living, so English courses were provided in the organisation. The organisation was called Migrants Resource Centre, which later consolidated to another organisation, and later closed their operation. Now in 2021, Brexit is complete, and, in my sense, the British society is not as friendly for migrants as it used to be, so when I first came to London, I was lucky in a sort of serendipity.

Now I use English for my practice as a lawyer, but learning a language never stops. In addition, it makes me aware of using Japanese as well. The Japanese language is my first language, but explaining something for others to understand easily is not the same as speaking in our daily lives.

Empathy for others is also important for communication. Language is a tool of communication, and we are social creatures, so it is worth noting to learn new languages.

司法書士堀明子 – HORIakiko –
司法書士 / ビジネスコンサルタント / ライフ・コーチ
Shiho-shoshi Lawyer / Business consultant / Life coach
Email: horiakiko@lawhelp4u.com
Tel: +81-(0)3-3249-1536 https://lawhelp4u.com/blog/

Titles for the execution of business in Japanese companies

Japanese business start-up consultant

Titles for the execution of company business vary from country to country.

The Japanese Companies Act only mentions the words “Director (Article 326)”, “Representative director (Articles 349 and 362)” and “Chairperson (Article 315)”.
When I translate the information of a company’s registration, I use the words, “Director” and “Representative Director”.
Although “Chairman” can refer to a person of either sex, I prefer to use the word, “Chairperson” because of the gender equality duty.
The contents above are the terms described in the Companies Act.

Having said that, it is common to define the titles, such as “Chairman of the board” (会長), “President” (社長), “Senior Managing Director” (専務取締役) and “Managing Director” (常務取締役) in Japan for the corporate governance purposes, and these positions are defined in the company’s articles of corporation.

The word, “President” refers to the highest position in an organisation. Recently, I also often use the term, “Chief executive officer”, because it is often used to describe the most important position in a company for running its business.

Unlike the translation of the word, “President”, the translation of the position of “Chairman of the board” in Japan is slightly difficult.
In Japan, the position is more of an honorary one, often given to the former President of the company, who is not very actively involved in its company’s businesses. In particular, it is often said only “Chairman” in the translation, but this stands for “Chairman of the board”, which means the person in this position is in charge of leading its board of directors. However, the word “Chairman” in general means a person in charge of a meeting. In Japan, the person who conducts the shareholders’ meeting and the board of directors’ meeting is the president of the company, so it might be a slight confusion, I must say.

I always feel that the simpler the contents are, the more it tests translation skills.

司法書士堀明子 – HORIakiko –
司法書士 / ビジネスコンサルタント / ライフ・コーチ
Shiho-shoshi Lawyer / Business consultant / Life coach
Email: horiakiko@lawhelp4u.com
Tel: +81-(0)3-3249-1536 https://lawhelp4u.com/english/legal-advice-for-business-in-japan/

The disclaimer process to the Japanese family court.

Japanese business start-up consultant

I wrote a relevant blog on 31st August, 2020. (https://akikohorishihoshosilawyer.wordpress.com/2020/08/) There were some enquiries on this matter, so I decided to describe some additional points below.

Shihoshoshi Lawyers, who are primarily working on non-conflicting cases and legal administrative matters, have a different perspective from Bengoshi lawyers, who are working on any cases including negotiating legal disputes.

The following contents on this subject of the disclaimer process are written in accordance with Japanese civil law. Under the Japanese legal system, because the estate of a dead person passes to the heirs directly, the heirs inherit a debt or liability as well as tangible asset, such as cash, stocks, bonds and property.

If the deceased person is a Japanese national who left their assets in Japan that the negative assets, such as debts and liabilities, outweigh the positive assets, their statutory heir has the right to renounce their interest under an intestacy. This disclaimer process to the Japanese family court can be done from abroad.

The required documents for this procedure must be in writing, form of the court “the Application for Renunciation of Inheritance” (相続放棄申述書) in Japanese. Copies of the deceased person’s Japanese family register are also required. The fact that such a person is abroad must be made clear at the stage of submitting the documents to the court. An affidavit issued by a notary public in their country of residence, or a certificate of residence and signature issued by the Japanese embassy might be necessary.

In Japan, this disclaimer process does not end with the submission of written documents above, and requires a response to a written enquiry made by the court later on. After submitting the enquiry form, the court will again send a “Certificate of Acceptance of the Application for Renunciation of Inheritance” (相続放棄受理通知書 in Japanese) at the end of the procedure.

It is important to act quickly and seek legal advice, especially if you are an expat and a resident outside Japan. I provide support for the disclaimer process to the Japanese family court from abroad.

司法書士堀明子 – HORIakiko –
司法書士 / ビジネスコンサルタント / ライフ・コーチ
Shiho-shoshi Lawyer / Business consultant / Life coach
Email: horiakiko@lawhelp4u.com
Tel: +81-(0)3-3249-1536 https://lawhelp4u.com/%e6%a5%ad%e5%8b%99%e6%a1%88%e5%86%85/%e7%9b%b8%e7%b6%9a%e7%99%bb%e8%a8%98/

The purpose of education and the practical skills

Japanese business start-up consultant

Young people are going into society independently after their education, thus, working as an individual person requires not only knowledge but also the skill of communication with other people. Schools and universities should use some methods, such as work experience programmes and careers advice to help students to find suitable jobs.

Firstly, work experience programmes would provide a real insight into what the practical world is, because these opportunities would vary from every workplace. The environment, atmosphere and culture of the businesses are different even in the same industry. In addition, organisations which accept students under these programmes would take advantage because they can promote their businesses and also check whether students can fit into their businesses before being employed.

Secondly, the programmes above are useful for students, but those are active action, and some of the students might feel stressed and confused about their future career, so that careers advice would support their mind and motivation. Students at this age look mature, but they are still young and a support would be needed. Even though some of the teachers have no work experience, they are academic, and they can listen and talk as their pastoral care as well as careers advice.

In conclusion, work experience programmes are a win-win solution for both students and business entities, and especially students who might realise what they should learn at schools and universities. However, when they struggle with their outlook for their future, career advice will guide them their career path as well as their mental progress.

司法書士堀明子 – HORIakiko –
司法書士 / ビジネスコンサルタント / ライフ・コーチ
Shiho-shoshi Lawyer / Business consultant / Life coach
Email: horiakiko@lawhelp4u.com
Tel: +81-(0)3-3249-1536 https://lawhelp4u.com/blog/

The effects of mobile phones and other technological equipment for young children.

Japanese business start-up consultant

Firstly, the word “young children” has a wide meaning, so I would like to make it clear I mean the children between aged 5-10 group and 11-17 group.

Children aged 5-10 are still small, and it would be hard for them to decide what is right and wrong properly, so using their own mobile phone is not ideal in any circumstances unless under adults’ supervision. In addition, children’s eyesight might be badly affected by the blue light which is beamed by mobile phones. The physical health of children in this age group should come first.

Although the health issue mentioned above should be prioritised for the children whose age is 11 to 17, but they are growing physically and mentally, so using their own device to some extent is needed for their social development nowadays, because many children have their own mobile as their communication tool. Getting used to the technological equipment might be useful when they become old enough, because most of the current systems are set up by computers and technology.

All of us should take account of the balance between the modern lifestyle and recent innovations. Adults have a responsibility both for children’s wellbeing and their technological interaction, and a flexible approach for young children is worth considering.

司法書士堀明子 – HORIakiko –
司法書士 / ビジネスコンサルタント / ライフ・コーチ
Shiho-shoshi Lawyer / Business consultant / Life coach
Email: horiakiko@lawhelp4u.com
Tel: +81-(0)3-3249-1536 https://lawhelp4u.com/blog/

To keep the environment clean and tidy

Japanese business start-up consultant

There are many people and social activities in the urban environment, in particular, and to organise society, legislation is essential because the rule tells them how to keep it clean and tidy. Public awareness campaigns are followed by this to let as many people as possible realise the existence of the rule.

Firstly, when people come to a city, they bring their own ideas, culture and customs, which are not always welcomed by for the existing community because common decency is not always universal. That is why the law is needed, and when the public realises there is a punishment when violating the law, they become more careful. For example, when some urban local councils in Japan set a rule against smoking while walking, the smoking rate on the street became reduced.

Secondly, even if there is a rule, it would be meaningless if people didn’t know it. Public relations should be used for this purpose, and public awareness campaigns are the best option. Traditional campaigns, such as publishing it to local newspapers, putting up a poster on signboard are useful, but using online services would be more cost efficient. There are many technological ways for this publication, which are acceptable nowadays, by means of social networking, such as website, Twitter or Facebook.

In conclusion, legislation and public awareness are like the wheels of a vehicle, and when they work well, society becomes more well-balanced. When people acknowledge their local environment clean and tidy, that would be a feel-good factor for everybody, thus, everybody in the city should be involved as their responsibility.

司法書士堀明子 – HORIakiko –
司法書士 / ビジネスコンサルタント / ライフ・コーチ
Shiho-shoshi Lawyer / Business consultant / Life coach
Email: horiakiko@lawhelp4u.com
Tel: +81-(0)3-3249-1536 https://lawhelp4u.com/blog/