Thinking about a Japanese Public Holiday: Respect for the Aged Day

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.
For more information
Japanese business consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)

Akiko HORI

Realising women’s potential in business

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.


I will update every Monday.
For more information
Japanese business consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)
Akiko HORI

Wise advice: Those that fail to learn from the mistakes of history are bound to repeat them.

Japanese business start-up consultant

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 will update every Monday.
For more information

Japanese business consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)
Akiko HORI

Work life balance and Japanese bank holidays

Today(10th August, 2020) is a bank holiday, called Mountain Day in Japan. It is a public holiday stipulated by the Article 2 of the Act on National Holidays, and according to the law, there are 16 days of public holidays a year in Japan.

The number of public holidays in the UK, where I lived in the past, is 8 days a year.

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.
For more information
Japanese business start-up consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)
Akiko HORI

Comprehensive Estate Planning

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
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)
Akiko HORI

Tokyo Today : Population Trends in Chiyoda, Chuo and Minato

At the moment, the worldwide economy has been badly damaged by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, as long as people exists, the business never stops.

In the centre of Tokyo, there is always a lively atmosphere because there are many offices and commercial facilities and a lot of people come to work and go shopping in the city. In recent years, the number of residents has been rapidly increasing and it is becoming more active for day-to-day consumption. The graph below shows Population Trends in the three central cities of Tokyo (Chiyoda, Chuo and Minato). The graph is based on the rate of change of population from 2002 to 2019 (Each year is based on October 1st). The total population of Japan was about 126 millions in 2019, in comparison to about 127 millions in 2002, which is about 1% decrease. However the three cities of central Tokyo (Chiyoda, Chuo and Minato) have quite different circumstances. The graph shows the clear difference when comparing three cities with the percentage of Japan as a whole. The main factors are the large supply of apartments at a reasonable cost, combined with every convenience and a well-equipped urban infrastructure.

As such, now is the perfect time to change things for the future investment.

I will update every Monday.

For more information

Japanese business start-up consultant

Shihoshoshi Lawyer

Akiko HORI

The inheritance rule in Japan

Hello. I am Akiko Hori, a Shihoshoshi lawyer in Japan.
Thank you for reading this.

Already, four months have passed since I came back from London to Japan.
Time flies so quickly!
I still miss London a lot but I am coming to terms with my current situation and getting things into perspective.

Today I would like to talk about the Japanese Inheritance procedure.
Japanese law grants an automatic right of inheritance to the surviving partner and children.
An heir should either give an unconditional or qualified acceptance of the inheritance, or renounce their right of succession within three months. If he/she needs to extend the initial three month period, they can ask the family court for an extension of the period.

In most cases it is considered rather good news to inherit the asset of a deceased person. However, if the deceased was heavily indebted, it may be a different story.

If a legal surviving partner who has children renounces their inheritance, then these children will be next in line. If there are no children, then the parents of the deceased will be next in line. Moreover, if there are no children and parents, then the decedent’s brother or sister will be third in line.

Nowadays a lot of Japanese people go abroad for their life and work and the situation is getting complicated. The fact that a child whose parents are Japanese is born in outside of Japan and speaks only English may occur often. I already have the experience of helping those people legally and linguistically.

The Japanese traditional working system and future outlook for woman

Hello. I am Akiko Hori, a Shihoshoshi lawyer in Japan.
Thank you for reading this.

The traditional idea for woman
Today, I would like to start by saying a few words about Japanese working idea for woman.Traditionally people think women should stay at home after they get married. They are in charge of raising their kids and do housework. Women should not eat out, drink out with friends especially in the evening. People in Japan think ‘Sengyo-shufu’ is the best way for woman to live. I don’t know if you are familiar with ‘Sengyo-shufu’. ‘Sengyo-shufu’ means staying at home and doing all housework and not going to work outside. That is something to think about, and I will return to this point later. So I have divided my write up into two sections. First of all, I will explain the current opportunity. After that, I will go on to talk about the challenge to future and I will conclude with some comments about how it will develop in the future.

1.Current opportunity
Moving on now to look at how is a current situation in Japan. Against the traditional idea, women are becoming more free to choose to be an employee, an employer, self-employed or an entrepreneur. Some women are quite ambitious and some have already made a success of their lives. But on the contrary in Europe, more women are employers than counterparts in Japan. Even though women have their own work, it is still considered that they will obey what men say.

2.Future challenge
Firstly women recognize their right to express freely what she wants to do and have a passion to work. I don’t mean to push woman to work. Women can , of course, choose to stay at home as a housewife. Women’s network is also a good way to share their experience so that it is a good idea to make a small group and help each other. For self-employed people like me, it is a good idea to share their office with someone who also has a kid around same age. Because raising a kid is also important and as a self-employed, they needn’t to put their kid to a nursery all the time, but they need to have a business meeting with clients, In case of a meeting, they need someone to help. If someone who has a kid at same age has a similar feeling, they can help each other. There are many working ways women can choose.

Agreement from Men and collaboration
As a human being, we should take into account empathy and harmony. And this brings me to the last point. Nobody achieves her purpose without help. When women want to go to the society, men’s help is essential. To say in other words, team work is needed. To sum up, we should listen to what a person wants to do and say either at home or work more freely. When we collaborate, it leads a better result in future.

Work-life-balance in Japan

Hello. I am Akiko Hori, a Shihoshoshi lawyer in Japan.
Thank you for reading this.

Already one month has passed since I came back to Japan.
Now I am going to greet my old clients and colleagues.
They are all helpful and said they are happy to work with me again.

We never know what may happen in future and even though they said they will, some might not work with me.

You may feel that what I say is negative, but I am really very positive.

I always believe that clients choose me because of my personality.
If I stay positive and can attract people, that will bring me a good luck.
Even though I like to work with someone, he might not want to work with me, but never mind.
Something new will come in the future.
I will still get in touch with a person like this though, as he might change his mind in future.

Anyway, now I have to do my legal work, do my housework and look after my kid, who is 20 months old.
I found a nursery for him and he goes there from 10am to 2pm every day.
He is very playful and doesn’t sleep much.
He sometimes gives me a hard time but he is still my lovely baby.

Despite my affection to him, I need my own time, too.
I told my husband that he must look after our boy at weekends because I want to have some rest then, as he is busy and has no time for child care on weekdays.
I work hard during the weekdays and want my husband to work hard during the weekends.
So my husband took my baby to a playgroup last Saturday.
There he was said to be amazing, just because he took our son to a playgroup.
Is only taking a baby to somewhere amazing!?!?
Such a traditional country…

Traditionally, raising kids is women’s work and earning money is men’s work in Japan.
Nowadays things are getting changed, and a couple may both work, but still people think that in traditional way.

I hope I can break that rule and that people will become freer to choose work, stay at home, earn money or take longer holidays.

There is one digression, in Japan,it is not appreciated if you take holidays.
People normally take only a week of holidays annually.
If someone took a holiday for a month or two, he might loose his job.

I know a lot of people who have a holiday only once in 3 or 5 years.
Please value the quality of life…

Now we have to think about the balance betwween personal life and work.

Help or not help?

In London, some people say the people are cold, as few people will help a Mum who has a buggy to carry at the stairs at a station.
However, I feel people in London are very friendly.
I was always helped to carry the buggy. Some people offered me help first and others simply just carried it along with me, so I always thought Britain was a country of gentlemen.

Anyway, back to Japan…
Nobody helps me. Never ever.
Even if a person was going downstairs at the same time as me, he just ignored me.
It is like I was not there.
It is so disappointing…
Never mind.
I am strong enough: I can manage it on my own.

One day, a train assistant kindly offered a help, but he said to me, “Please hold your baby and I will carry the buggy downstairs.”
At that time, my baby was sleeping in the buggy and I didn’t want to disturb him and I said, “Would you please carry the buggy with me.”
Then he told me he could not help.

Why not???

I don’t know…

If he helped me to carry the buggy, might he fall over and injure the baby??

I cannot see any point.

Is it a cultural thing?
No. I don’t think so.

However, no worries.
Japan is a high tech country.
At almost all stations, there is a lift!!
That is good news, isn’t it?