August 9, 2019
Aiming to encourage the animation production industry to promote appropriate subcontracting transactions from the perspective of the entire supply chain, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) formulated the revised version of the Guidelines on the Promotion of Appropriate Subcontracting Transactions in the Animation Production Industry (hereinafter referred to the “guidelines”) and the Summary thereof. METI will continue to strive to be fully committed to the policies for further development of the industry.
1. Outline of the revision
Since its formulation of the first version of the guidelines in 2013, METI has been repeatedly revising the guidelines to meet the current situations of the industry.
Following the results of the discussions on the improvement of business transaction conditions for broadcasting contents (including animation) within the working group for improving business transaction for SMEs including subcontractors held at the Liaison Council of Responsible Ministries and Agencies for Improving Vitalization of SMEs and Small Enterprises (Chair: Mr. Kotaro Nogami, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary), METI formulated the revised version of the guidelines and the summary thereof for encouraging the animation production industry to promote appropriate business transactions from the perspective of the entire supply chains.
Prior to this, from April 27 (Sat.) to May 31 (Fri.), 2019, METI opened a call for public comments on the draft versions of the revised guidelines and the summary thereof to collect opinions from a wide variety of people and received as many as 2,882 comments. METI greatly appreciates the submission of sincere opinions on appropriate subcontracting transactions in animation production from many citizens, including stakeholders in the industry.
2. Major opinions and the sections that METI amended for the opinions
- METI received several opinions on the ownership of copyrights of work brought about by subcontracting transactions of animation. Ownership of copyrights are indisputably important from the viewpoint of appropriate distribution of benefits from the secondary use of work products and that of smoother distribution of such products. Even more than this issue of copyright ownership, METI considers it important to take into account an approach to and a framework of appropriate distribution of benefits brought about by work products to creators. From this standpoint, METI additionally included in the revised guidelines its opinion on potential introduction of a system under which such benefits are appropriately distributed to stakeholders according to the level of their contribution to work products.
- METI received several opinions on the gap between the terms of an employment contract and the actual employment situations in the industry. If a worker is found to meet the criteria for being a worker under the Labor Standards Act, such as actual application of restrictions on working hours and places to the worker, regardless of the type of the terms of an employment contract subject to the worker, the worker is categorized among workers under the Act and related laws and regulations, and accordingly, these regulations are applied to the worker. METI added this fact to the revised guidelines.
- METI received several opinions on thorough issuance of a written document for an employment contract. Currently, there are some concerns that thorough issuance of a written document for an employment contract may only result in the conclusion of unfavorable contracts for workers. However, if a subcontracting company conducts any act deemed to be a prohibited act under the Act against Delay in Payment of Subcontract Proceeds, etc. to Subcontractors, the act may be a violation of the Act. Prior to concluding a contract with workers, subcontracting companies should fully take into consideration this point in starting discussions on the terms of an employment contract with workers. METI added this fact to the revised guidelines.
- In addition, METI also received some opinions on the introduction of a new system for smoothly making appropriate issuance of a written document and schedule management into the production floors of animation.
- For details of the opinions that METI received and the actions that METI took on them, visit the Public Comment section of e-Gov, an official portal website of the government of Japan, for your confirmation.
METI will strive to raise public awareness of the revised guidelines. METI requests stakeholders in the industry to endeavor to thoroughly observe the revised guidelines from the viewpoint of promoting appropriate transactions involving animation production and contributing to the development of the industry.
3. Revised documents
- Guidelines on the Promotion of Appropriate Subcontracting Transactions in the Animation Production Industry (revised version)(PDF:2,741KB)
- Guidelines on the Promotion of Appropriate Subcontracting Transactions in the Animation Production Industry (summary)(PDF:904KB)
4. Related documents
- Release of the Guidelines for Regulation of Broadcast Content Production and Trade (Revised Version) and the Results of the Call for Public Comments
On August 9, 2019, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications releases the revised version of the Guidelines for Regulation of Broadcast Content Production and Trade.
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Division in Charge
Media and Content Industry Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau