Articles 197 and 198 of the Japanese Criminal Code govern bribery of public officials (komuin).
Bribery is defined as the act of a private individual giving, proposing, or threatening to deliver a bribe, including anything that satisfies a person’s desire, to a public official in connection with the public official’s duties.
A “public official” is a national or local government employee, a member of an assembly or committee, or another employee performing public tasks in line with laws and rules. Officers and employees of government-related entities, such as independent administrative agencies (dokuritsu gyousei houjin), local incorporated administrative agencies (chihou dokuritsu gyousei houjin), national university corporations (kokuritsu daigaku houjin), state-owned enterprises, and public hospitals, are also treated as public officials (quasi-public officials).
(a) For the individuals involved Individuals who bribe public officials face a maximum sentence of three years in prison or a fine of up to JPY 2.5 million.
(b) For the business or legal entity
The firm / legal entity is not subject to any penalties under the Criminal Code. However, under the relevant regulatory legislation, the corporation Or legal entity may be banned from public bidding or face other fines (e.g., revocation of license).
The Political Funds Control Law regulates political contributions. It stipulates the following guidelines:
A firm may not donate to an entity other than a political party or a political fundraising entity for the purpose of political action.
A person may not make a monetary payment to a candidate for elected public office in conjunction with any political activity (excluding an election campaign).
When given by an individual, the total annual aggregate donations to a political party or political funding entity must be less than JPY 20 million; and when given by a company, the total annual aggregate donations must be between JPY 7.5 million and JPY 100 million, depending on the capital amount of the company.
An individual’s total annual contributions to all candidates for elected public office must be less than JPY 10 million.
Individual donations to a specific candidate for elected public office shall total less than JPY 1.5 million per year.
Non-Japanese citizens and companies are prohibited from making political contributions.
Donations made anonymously or in the name of another person are forbidden.
Hospitality expenses are not subject to any quantitative or qualitative restrictions under the Criminal Code. Bribes can be anything of value, according to the Criminal Code.
A national public official who is bound by the National Public Official Ethics Act and the National Public Official Ethics Code must, among other things, obey the following rules:
Except for casual box lunches during a conference (typically valued at JPY 2,000 to JPY 3,000) or a function at which a buffet is supplied for a number of guests, a public official may not accept a meal from an interested person under any circumstances (usually more than 20 attendees).
A public official is not allowed to be entertained.
A public official is not permitted to be entertained. They must acquire approval from their ethics supervisor even if they are paying their own expenditures
Other public authorities, such as officials from municipal governments and autonomous administrative agencies, are normally bound by comparable ethics codes or standards enacted by such organizations.
Bribery of private individuals is not particularly prohibited by any Japanese law or regulation.
However, under the Japanese Criminal Code, a person in charge of a company’s affairs who commits an act in breach of legal duty and causes financial loss to the company for the purpose of promoting his or her own or a third party’s interest, or inflicting damage on the company, is punished (“Breach of Trust”). As a result, a private corporation officer or employee who accepts a bribe may face criminal charges under the Criminal Code.
A director of a corporation who receives a property advantage based on an unlawful request in connection with his or her duty is also punished under the Japanese Company Act (Bribery by Director).
Furthermore, some businesses have created industry norms prohibiting bribery of private individuals, which only apply to corporations that follow the guidelines. The pharmaceutical and medical device industries, for example, have adopted fair competition regulations that limit the distribution of perks to physicians and others, regardless of whether or not they are public officials. These standards, however, are industry codes (not statutes) and do not carry any criminal repercussions (they may impose civil penalties up to JPY 1 million).
A person who commits the above-mentioned Breach of Trust is punishable to imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of up to JPY 500,000 under the Japanese Criminal Code.
Furthermore, under the Japanese Company Act, a person who commits the above-mentioned Bribery by Director is punishable to imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of up to JPY 5 million.
There is none for the company/legal entity.
None at all
The Japanese Unfair Competition Prevention Act makes it illegal to bribe foreign public officials (Article 18).
Giving, offering, or promising any monetary or other benefit to a foreign public official in order for the official to act or refrain from acting in relation to the performance of official duties, or in order for the official to exert influence over another foreign official using his or her position to cause him or her to act or refrain from acting is defined as “corruption of a foreign public official.”
A “foreign public official” is defined as any of the following individuals for the purposes of this crime:
Anyone who works for a foreign government’s national or local government.
Any person who performs services for an entity established by foreign special laws to carry out specialized public-interest responsibilities.
Any person who performs services for an enterprise in which the number of stocks with voting rights or the amount of capital subscription directly owned by a national or local foreign government exceeds one-half of the enterprise’s total issued stocks with voting rights or total subscribed capital, or in which the number of executives (including directors, statutory auditors, trustees, and others) exceeds one-half of the enterprise’s total issued stocks with voting rights or total subscribed capital.
Any person who works for an international organization (hence, a “international organization” refers to an international organization founded by governments or an international organization founded by governments) in a public capacity.
Any person who is delegated by national or local foreign governments or an international organization to perform a public function that is with their authorized competence.
(a) For the individuals involved
Maximum sentence of five years in prison
b) For the legal entity, a maximum penalties of JPY5 million
In the event that a representative, an agent, or an employee of a legal person or a person violates the law in connection with the legal person’s business, the legal person is accountable for a fine of up to JPY 300 million in addition to the violator’s punishment.
Hospitality expenses are not subject to any quantitative or qualitative restrictions under the Unfair Competition Prevention Act. A bribe could be anything of value.
The recommendations describe how the Unfair Competition Prevention Act is interpreted and encourage the implementation of effective compliance programs that can help a company avoid liability. Furthermore, on July 15, 2016, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations issued the “Guidance on Foreign Bribery Prevention”, which offers practical solutions for Japanese companies operating in high-risk countries by implementing compliance programs and conducting internal investigations in the event of foreign bribery.