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Path to Power: METI Releases Report on Corporate Law and International Competitiveness

In January 2018, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) established a Study Group for Development of Ideal Approaches to Legal Functions in Japanese Companies for Enhancement of International Competitiveness (chair: Mr. Katsuya Natori, lawyer and founder, Natori Law Office) aiming at discussing policy measures for fortifying the international competitiveness of Japanese companies. Since then, the study group held four meetings from January to March 2018 and compiled discussion results into a report on ideal approaches to legal functions in Japanese companies.

1. Background

As the 2020 Olympic Games draw nearer, economic and social environments in Japan have been dramatically changing. In line with these changes, environments surrounding business management are facing hardships brought about by enhanced regulations inside and outside Japan and the advancement of globalization and introduction of IT. Along with these changes, legal environments surrounding companies have been dramatically changing as well and potential legal risks that companies may be involved in have become more complicated and diversified than ever.

To defeat the competition in such a phase of change, companies should precisely ascertain and assess such risks from a broader viewpoint to make management decisions and should also develop strategic legal functions as an indispensable element to change legal risks into business opportunities, such as taking different approaches to understanding and views of rules so as to win new markets.

To this end, the study group held meetings from January to March 2018 to discuss the following issues:

  1. Streamlining of current situations that legal departments of Japanese companies are facing, and the actual situations of overseas companies;
  2. Legal functions required to Japanese companies in the future and directions of fortifying such functions;
  3. Challenges in fortifying legal functions and directions of measures therefor; etc. Based on the discussion results, the study group compiled a report.

2. Future directions

METI will disseminate and raise awareness of the details of the report among industrial players and other associations in cooperation with related organizations, and will further exchange views with such organizations and industrial players so as to strive to advance multilateral efforts from the viewpoint of enhancing the competitiveness of Japanese companies.

Appendix

Release date

April 18, 2018

Division in Charge

Competition Enhancement Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

Related website

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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