The official record of real property and corporate registry and Japanese culture.

Japanese business start-up consultant

Hi. It is Akiko HORI. Thank you for reading this.

Many people are involved in the purchase of real property. In this situation, it is crucial to check property information and an official corporate existence at the commencement of the transaction so that I apply online to the registration record on the website below.

Registration information service

Available only in Japanese but this Registration information service is a fee-based service that enables a user to check the official record about real property and corporate information online that the Legal Affairs Bureau has. This information cannot be used as an official certificate, but an estate agent and a lawyer check this information.

The information should be registered to be enforceable, but Japanese law recognises customary rights, such as the right for people to cross land, which may not be legally recorded (although they can be). In addition, historically, a landowner is likely reluctant to register their lease right, because they are afraid that the ownership of the land never returns from the lease holder. I will write about the lease right in Japan as a separate topic.

I, as a lawyer, fully recognise the importance of a contract and right, but there is a cultural background in Japan, such that harmony among people is regarded with greater respect than the contract itself, since ancient times. Regarding this subject, Kenzaburo Oe who received the Nobel Prize for literature mentioned it in “Japan,the ambiguous,and myself”.

If interested, the link is below.

Having said that, in the Western society, this attitude is regarded as a fault, because people rather postpone problem-solving and don’t show their attitude clearly. However, on the positive side, people are not caught up in prejudice and take the time to fit the situation in the correct environment, which leads to a flexible solution.

I believe these ideas come from the different philosophies, and neither has superiority.
The registered information is inside the framework of Japanese administrative matters, but the system reflects culture in society.

I hope the information is useful.
I will update every Monday.
For more information

Japanese business consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)

Akiko HORI

Family, Inheritance and legally secured portion

Japanese business start-up consultant

The following contents on this subject of legally secured portions are written in accordance with Japanese civil law.
I will write an outline of the “legally secured portion” in relation to the international law another time.

In my work as a Shihoshoshi Lawyer, I often have opportunities to talk with heirs and relatives about the inheritance procedure for the deceased person’s real property. Because of these experiences, I often think about my life and death through a number of legal proceedings. I don’t think I need to think about this too seriously, but as long as I am a human being, I will die one day, and when I do die, I hope that I avoid conflicts between my heirs as much as possible.

In my opinion, 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.

In Japan, when a person makes a will or gifts real property to someone before their death, or divides their estate among the heirs after the inheritance occurs, there is often a problem about the “legally secured portion”.

The “legally secured portion” in Japan acknowledges the right of heirs other than the siblings of a deceased person to get a certain percentage of the estate, if the deceased person’s parent is the only heir, the fixed percentage is one-third of the entire estate. If a child is included among the heirs, he or she will be allowed a legally secured portion, even if the child is an adult. When a spouse or a child (or both) are included as an heir, the legally secured portions is one-half of the entire estate. The individual heir multiplies this entire estate by their individual legal percentage.

It is easy to say “a certain percentage” in words, but it’s hard to know what the extent their estate is at the time of death. Even if the heirs clarify what is the whole estate, if a conflict arises because one of the heirs keeps an excessive proportion of the estate, and they refuse to negotiate, the heir who thinks they have not received what is their right should take action in a court. However, it is not always possible for such an heir to be granted their full entitlement in accordance with their wishes.

In today’s nuclear families, it is common for different generations not to live together when children legally become adults at 20 (at 18 from 1st April, 2022), and there might not be many opportunities for them to see each other if they live separately. However, inheritances will always occur at some point. I think the best way to avoid a conflict is actually to find as many opportunities as possible to keep in close contact, see each other once in a while, and keep the relationship between parents and children alive. I believe that with rights always come obligations. I don’t think looking after parents is an obligation, but I do believe that this responsibility as a child exists to some extent.

Please refer to the article about “Estate and Succession planning – 1-7. Making a will Part 1 & Part 2”

I will update every Monday.
For more information

Japanese business start-up consultant
Shihoshoshi Lawyer
(Judicial Scrivener)
Akiko HORI

Professionals for the real property registration system in Japan

In Japan, registered Land and Building Investigators and Shihoshosi lawyers are experts about real property registration system.

Shihoshosi lawyers are responsible for preparing documents related to the registration of real property rights, such as ownership transfer and mortgage.

Registered Land and Building Investigators are responsible for preparing documents necessary for the property description aspect of real property registration such as registration of new construction and subdivision the land.

Flowchart for registration
1. Cause of registration (purchasing real property, inheritance, etc.)

2. Preparation for an application form

3. Submission of application form

4. Examination at the Legal Affairs Bureau

5. The receipt of registration certificate and registration completion certificate

Rights to property

Rights to property are generally conveyed by contract or succession, or by prescription.
A conveyance of real property must be recorded at the local Legal Affairs Bureau to be valid.
In some cases, where property rights were not recorded because someone acted in breach of trust or in bad faith, or failed in their duty to apply to record a transfer or who obstructed it, the courts will recognise and protect those unrecorded rights.

In England, for example, if someone holds a registered title to land, no-one can challenge this. The state guarantees it.
In Japan the state registers transfers, but does not guarantee that the transferee has a title that cannot be challenged. (No credibility)
Equally, it is only in very exceptional cases, and these are defined in law, that an unrecorded or unregistered property right can be asserted against a registered owner.

The information recorded on a title is legally assumed to be correct and is the best evidence of ownership. Registering a transfer does not guarantee ownership of the real property registered, in the cases of valid but unrecorded rights.
In theory, recording applies to leased property, but in practice registration of leases is not universal.
Recording also required where ownership of real property is claimed by prescription, based on adverse possession.