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Upcoming amendments to the Japanese Telecommunications Business Act are intended to bring more foreign companies within the scope of the Act. This will lead to more foreign entities in the telecommunications space having to take measures with the competent Japanese authorities, and have certain new specific obligations imposed upon them, such as the obligation to report serious incidents, and keep user communications secret. Application of the Telecommunications Business Act to foreign corporations On February 28,…

On 25 April 2018, Japan’s data protection authority published draft guidelines relating to adequacy findings for international personal data transfers from Europe to Japan (Guidelines). If the Guidelines come into force in their current form, subject to the EU’s adequacy decision, they will allow for personal data to be transferred from the EEA (which includes the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) to Japan without measures such as specific data subject consent or standard contractual clauses. These Guidelines…

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange CoinCheck confirmed on 26 January 2018 that it has been the victim of a massive hack, resulting in what would appear to be the largest cryptocoin theft of all time. In a press conference CoinCheck admitted that the current understanding was that the hackers had stolen around 523 million of the exchange’s NEM coins which, at the time of detection, were worth around $534 million. This would surpass the $400 million worth of…

Japan’s Financial Services Agency recently announced plans to cooperate respectively with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore for the purpose of promoting fintech innovation. The collaboration is intended to reduce regulatory uncertainty and time to market, remove barriers to entry in the respective jurisdictions and otherwise further encourage innovation. Press releases issued by the regulators detailing the frameworks can be found here: Japan & UK cooperation and Japan & Singapore…

1. Global contextAs noted in the IMF’s “Virtual Currencies and Beyond: Initial Considerations” report released in January 2016: “[Virtual currencies (VCs)] offer many potential benefits, including greater speed and efficiency in making payments and transfers – particularly across borders – and ultimately promoting financial inclusion… At the same time, VCs pose considerable risks as potential vehicles for money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion and fraud.”Regulators around the world have begun to focus on this issue…

As concerns about privacy and data breaches increase – the allure of big data remains untarnished. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with that term, big data refers to the practice of amassing as much data about a subject as possible and then mining that data for usable information. Many of our favourite online services regularly collect as much data as they can about us, and then scour this data for clues to…

As an example of the global trend towards strengthening privacy laws, extensive amendments were introduced to Japan’s data protection law, “The Act on the Protection of Personal Information” (“APPI”), on September 3, 2015. The APPI will become effective within the next two years. While the details on the manner of its implementation still remain unclear, the following are some noteworthy amendments to the law:1. Amended definition of “Personal Information”The amended APPI expands the definition of…