RECENT JAPANESE LEGISLATION IMPACTING DIRECT MARKETERS
*Name of the representative or the person in charge of commercial transactions should be displayed.
*When marketers take orders online, they should provide a screen on which consumers can clearly recognize that clicking a certain icon means a purchase order.
Internet marketers are also required to provide a screen where consumers can confirm and/or change their orders if it is necessary before they click on the transmission button to finalize the order.
*Regulation on Spam
→Marketers are required to provide the following information on their unsolicited commercial e-mails:
- mail address of the sender
- correspondence procedure in case of opt-out
- "Unsolicited advertisement" * should be displayed when the e-mail is unsolicited. (enforced in February, 2002)
→Marketers should not send e-mails in future to consumers if they receive an opt-out request from them.
Under the revised law, misleading and/or exaggerated advertisement regarding the of the health enhancement effects of food including health food shall be strictly prohibited.
For example, expressions like "effective for cancer treatment" and "lose xx Kg. in xx months" are prohibited. (enforced in August, 2003)
Revision of Law for Preventing Unjustifiable Extra or Unexpected Benefit and Misleading Representation (Premiums and Representation Law)
Marketers presenting descriptions concerning the ability, capacity or effect of merchandise or services may be required by the Fair Trade Commission to submit reasonable grounds when such descriptions are considered aggravating. Should the marketer fail to submit reasonable grounds, the commission shall issue an order to remove the advertisement. (enforced in November, 2003)
The above mentioned law was enacted on 23rd May, 2003, and will be effected within 2 years' time (probably May, 2005).
Under the law, private firms holding personal information of a certain large number of individuals are obliged:
- to specify the purpose of use and not to use the personal data beyond such purpose;
- not to obtain personal data by inappropriate means;
- to update and keep accurate contents of the data;
- to safe-guard the personal data against loss, system failure and leakage;
- not to provide an individual's personal data to third parties without such individual's consent except in certain instances; and
- to disclose the purpose of use of, to correct, or to suspend using, an individual's personal data, upon such individual's request.