Japan is the third largest economy according to the GDP statistics, but there is no real equality in the workplace, because a traditional standard still strongly exists in society. Women can take part in the business environment, in which a fair assessment should be encouraged.
The tradition that men work outside and women stay at home, looking after their husband and children still dominates for Japanese people. OECD statistics shows that only 14% of executives are women in Japan, and this figure is low, compared to other developed countries. Many equal opportunities for women in the workplace have been lost.
Recently, the government introduced the policy that women are encouraged to work, but the majority of women’s work is simple paperwork and office administration. To take the further step, a decent assessment is needed. For example, when a company evaluates the ability of its employees, names and genders should be hidden from an assessor, who should be a third-party organisation. Incentives such as subsidies and tax relaxation are also good options.
Every small step to achieve a fairer society should be appreciated. Women have been neglected in the business environment for so long, so starting from office administration is an effective trend, because every success departs from a single step. Existing female middle managers should be treated fairly by an impartial job assessment.
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.
Introduction The compulsory education in Japan terminates when young people finish their secondary school at the age of 15, and over 80% of them continue to study at high school for 3 more years. This tendency gives the impression that education at high school is quite common, so this report is based on the premise above.
Recent trend Because of the recent decrease in childbirth, going to university in recent years is not as difficult as one in the past, so almost 60% of pupils who finish their high school education choose to go to university. This tendency shows Japan is a country that provides quite good standard of education for the young generation. The information of this rate can be seen on the ministry of education website (https://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/shingi/chukyo/chukyo0/toushin/attach/1335605.htm). Furthermore, roughly 10% of young adults keep studying for a master degree after their bachelor degree is completed.
Vocational career On the other hand, the path of vocational career can still be possible in Japan. Those vocational experiences are generally found in a profession, such as medicine, the law, teaching, architecture, engineering and some others, where a professional qualification is required in addition to or instead of a degree. My Shiho-shoshi Lawyer qualification is one of vocational careers. Special licences funded by relevant ministries are well-recognised in society. It is difficult to collect all the information above at one source, but every ministry puts up their licensing information on their websites.
Conclusion In conclusion, the mainstream of education in Japan is to go to university, but thanks to the various vocational tests and qualifications, a wide range of career paths for the young is widely available in Japan.
Because of the situation of the Tokyo Olympics, the news about Japan is in the spotlight from time to time. In my opinion, the system of Japan is still old-fashioned and hierarchical. We, Japanese people are generally reluctant to accept changes, partly because Japan has a long and interesting history, and it respects tradition and hierarchy in a good way. However, because of this attitude, a change is unlikely to occur without external pressure, such as foreign pressure. For example, it is said that the Japanese recession, the so-called economic bubble burst started with the Plaza Accord agreement among the G-5 nations in 1985. Also, national isolation policy was abandoned when the US navy, so-called the Black Ships, arrived in Yokosuka in 1853.
The recent two news items below also still reflects this attitude.
In this blog, I don’t intend to make a comment about this traditional attitude as this tradition has deeply fixed in people’s minds. All I can do is to carry on my career professionally and show my strength regardless of the difficult situation.
Jitsuin (実印) Jitsuin is the official stamp for an individual, and is registered at the local council where an individual person resides. After the registration is completed, a certificate is issued. The certificate is called a seal certificate (印鑑証明書), and is used to prove to third parties that an individual legally affirms a certain action.
General practice in Japan If a relative has a seal and the seal certificate of their family member, the relative is regarded as having rightful agency for the family member in undertaking the action.
Article 761 of the Japanese Civil Code states below. (Joint and Several Liability for Debts incurred for Household Necessities) If one party to a marriage engages in a legal process with a third party regarding everyday household matters, the other party shall be jointly and severally liable for debts that arise from that act; provided that this shall not apply if prior notice is given to the third party to the effect that the other party will not assume such liability.
However, the recent trend of judicial precedents is inclined to the view that it is no longer possible to say that a transaction has been concluded only because the relatives possess a registered seal and a seal certificate in a case arising from an act of agency between relatives.
In the case of acts between a husband and wife or a parent and child, the person in charge of the transaction is obliged to exercise a greater degree of care in their legal deed by investigating the existence of the right of representation and confirming the intention of the person concerned.
As a rule in business, it is necessary to confirm the intentions of the parties involved in a transaction of real property and the creation of a mortgage or other security.
The examples below are other cases in which a lawyer and other third parties in charge should confirm the intentions of the target person.
1) In the event of the property owner’s death. ➡ The heirs will need to discuss the division of assets, and a lawyer should confirm who is a legal heir.
2) The owner of the real property is a legal entity. ➡ The intention of the representative director of the organisation should be confirmed.
3) The owner of the real property is an elderly person. ➡ The court might need to be involved in the process of appointing a guardian.
4) The ownership of the real property is jointly owned. ➡ All owners needed to be confirmed.
In recent years, there have been a number of cases where people have been involved in real property fraud and have been awarded large sums of money in damages. The forgery of driving licences, passports and the registered seal certificates has become more sophisticated in recent years because of the advanced technology.
Verifying the identity of a client is not an easy task. The important thing is that no matter how much experience I have, I always need to go back to basics and carefully check the person’s identity and intention.
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
Proof of address If you are resident in Japan, you may be required to provide proof of your address to complete various procedures.
In Japan, you can register your address in the city where you live and obtain a certificate of residence at the city office. Non-Japanese nationals are also required to do this, and they can obtain a certificate of residence (proof of address) (住民票)at the city office after completing the necessary procedures.
You don’t need to prepare your passport as proof of name and your utility bill as proof of address separately. The “certificate of residence” states the individual’s name, address and date of birth.
When you move to another city, you should submit a “Notification of Moving Out” to the city office that holds its jurisdiction over your current location, and then submit a “Notification of Moving In” to the city office of your new city.
When you move abroad, you are required to submit a notification of moving out of Japan. After a Japanese citizen moves abroad, they should submit a “Residence Report” （在留届） to Japanese embassy in their new country and register their residential address abroad. Once the “Residence Report” is submitted, you will be issued a Certificate of Residence, which is an administrative certificate in place of a certificate of residence.
A seal certificate as a proof of agreement In Japan, stamping a seal is widely used in daily life to signify approval, acceptance, or obligation. Especially when making an agreement, signatures are not used, and a person stamps the agreement instead. The stamp should be the official stamp for an individual and that is registered at the local council where the individual person resides. The registered stamp is called “Jitsuin” (実印) and a seal certificate is issued at the city office.
The presence of the seal certificate along with the personal seal acknowledges that “the document is indeed stamped with their true intention”.
If someone moves out of Japan, their seal registration will be cancelled at their local council. If Japanese citizen who resides abroad requires their seal certificate, they need to ask Japanese embassy to issue a “signature certificate” in place of a seal certificate.
In Japan, the primary purpose of the resident registration is to provide central and local government with the information about the movement of the population and family structure.
In addition, Japanese nationals are also registered in the family register system. 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.
I hope the information is useful. I will update every Monday. For more information Japanese business consultant Shihoshoshi Lawyer(Judicial Scrivener)
In Japan, today is a public holiday, and it is called “Respect for the Aged Day.” Like other developed countries, Japan has an ageing population.
Source: National Institute of Population and Social Security Research
Nowadays, many young people are fascinated by the idea to live in cities, because they can pursue something new, gorgeous and exciting to fulfill their own desire and leave the place where they were born. They try to find their own identity among the great number of population in cities, the life in cities never let them go back to a quiet country life.
However, human bonding is most important for human beings because we are social creatures. Statistically, when children feel secure in their young ages at home, they can be persistent and strive for anything after they become adults. This is because the security in their mind keeps them motivated and confronts any challenging situation they might encounter.
Balancing between a warm family atmosphere and the community environment is critical because it supports young people’s internal development and communication skills. A family should look after each other to build up their trust, and secondly disciplines are needed to learn events that happen in the actual world.
At Respect for the Aged Day, I am thinking about it.
I will update every Monday.
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Japanese business consultant
My father’s family owns a business, but I grew up in a very ordinary family environment, because my father didn’t succeed in his family business and was employed by a company and my mother is a housewife. When I got married, I had no idea about taking more than a part-time job just to kill time, and I had never thought about a “business”.
I’m a Shihoshoshi Lawyer now, but I wish I had worked harder in that banking-related environment when I was working at a bank. However, as I always tell my child, “Failure is never a bad thing”. “The problem is what results those mistakes leave behind”, but I should think about what the reasons were for my mistakes and learn from them and apply them to my decision-making process in the future.
I think the percentage of women in management positions in Japan is still low, compared to other countries. There is no need to feel sad about the low rate because it reflects the past, and there are no 100% perfect methods in life. We should focus on the factors to consider when thinking about what to do in the future.
I decided I could turn the energy and positivity I was experiencing into my own business. I am working tirelessly to support everyone wanting to unleash their full potential with the “Ideas-turned-business” perspective, and how the Japanese legal system is used for those purposes.
The legal system takes together processes and procedures, and each country constitutes its own category. The system was backed up by history, thus, history has interested me as a way of finding out about other countries.
There are very great differences between the Common Law and Civil Law systems in many areas of the law, and the Japanese system generally follows the Civil Law system. The traditional Japanese system was similar like in the old Roman system, where the head of the family had control over his sons and younger brothers, even if adults, and the family women including a widowed mother, wife and unmarried sisters and daughters with the head of the house having authority over all other members of the house, until he was succeeded by his eldest son in his death.
After the late 18th century, the French Revolution, which brought about the ideas that all adult family members were equal, so that the head of the family had no legal control over his adult sons and daughters, and that all had, at least in principle, equal rights of succession, was truly revolutionary in changing the law in this area. It also affected the Japanese system.
I often feel that there are too many bank holidays in Japan, and when I find that Japan has twice as many bank holidays as the UK, I think to myself my feeling is right.
I have made a comparison of the number of bank holidays in the UK and Japan, so let’s take a look at some of the cultural differences related to holidays. As a reader of this blog, you may relate to Japanese society, and you may also hear that the Japanese people don’t take a day off work unless it’s a bank holiday.
In my experience, colleagues go to work even though they have a fever or a bad cold. Ever since I started to be self-employed, I’ve been thinking that they don’t need to push themselves too hard about going to work, but many of them I know go to work anyway. Then, if their condition gets worse, they would go home. However, it is likely for them to stay in their office until 5 or 6 pm. The background to this attitude, on the positive side, is that it is an expression of a sense of responsibility that they shouldn’t inconvenience other colleagues, but on the negative side, the old practice of “traditional loyalty” still exists in Japanese society.
I hope that the attitude above will be changed soon because of the recent Covid-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, when I talk to friends from Britain about this matter, their typical attitude is that “No way!”. Then, they ask next how many days of holiday Japanese workers have. The answer is about a week. When I answer like that, they definitely say that that is not a holiday at all. At least a month of annual holiday is needed. I’m sure that Japanese culture has certain strengths, but I personally hope, as my British friends say, that the standard holiday entitlement should be at least a month.
In addition, in Japan, there is a custom, called “OBON” (お盆), to welcome the spirits of ancestors from the afterlife to return for a few days in the middle of August. It will be from 13th to 16th August in 2020. This custom is regarded as a Buddhist one, but a memorial service has been held once or twice a year to honor the spirits of ancestors since ancient times of Japan. “OBON” is an event that integrates ancient Japanese customs and Buddhism ones.
Note to self, “OBON” is not a bank holiday, so council offices and banks are open for business as usual.
I will update every Monday.
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Japanese business start-up consultant
As for the current real property trend in Japan, the number of relatively large-scale real property investment projects by wealthy people in Asia has been increasing.
The aging population and the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Japanese economy. The government should maximise savings through rapid rationalisation of the estate and the reuse of previously developed land. For example, restructuring public property stock and exploiting surplus government land and buildings contribute to economic growth.
Since such cases are intricately connected to the legal issues, a project may not be possible unless the underlying Japanese legal system is understood.
I believe that it is even more important to look at the articles of the relevant laws and precedents with a fresh feeling, and keep up networking with peers and other professionals.
Even if a client is an alien, it is no different from normal work, but it is important to understand what they want to achieve because they might not fully understand the Japanese system and the roles of experts. Clients often talk on the premise of their own system, and it is necessary to explain the Japanese system plainly and clearly. The important thing is to carefully listen to what kind of business the client wants to do. Empathy is essential.
In addition, if the contents of their request is outside the scope of my work, connecting to appropriate specialists is necessary in order for a smooth business operation.
I hope the information is useful.
I will update every Monday.
For more information
Japanese business start-up consultant