Copyright System in Japan


    The protection of copyright (copyright (author's right) and neighboring rights) is a part of the responsibility of the cultural authorities of the Government of Japan i.e. the Japan Copyright Office (JCO) of the Agency for Cultural Affairs (ACA), which is a part of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The diagram below shows the structure of the governmental organizations related to copyright. (Industrial property rights come under the responsibility of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japanese Patent Office (JPO), which is a part of the former.)

    The JCO has been carrying out a wide range of copyright policies such as the planning of copyright legislations, the improvement of right clearance systems, the planning of new policies to cope with the development of digitization and network, supervision over collective societies, educational activities for experts and the general public, participation in international norm-setting, cooperation programs for developing countries, countermeasures against piracy, etc.

    Important policies are planned based on discussions and reports of the Subdivision on Copyrights of the Council for Cultural Affairs which is an advisory committee for the Commissioner of the ACA. This Council is composed of some members (representatives of rightholders and users, researchers, experts, lawyers, etc.) and has been functioning as the major mechanism to mobilize expertise of specialists as well as to harmonize various viewpoints and interests of stakeholders.

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