The Daily Manila Shimbun


Revisions of civil code clauses on claims enacted

May 26, 2017

Tokyo- Japan's parliament enacted Friday revisions to clauses related to claims and contracts in the Civil Code for the first time in about 120 years.
The revisions were approved by a majority vote at a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament, mainly with the support of the Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling camp and opposition parties including the Japanese Communist Party. It cleared the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, last month.
The revised Civil Code sets new rules for uniformly clarifying the terms and conditions of commercial services indicated to a number of customers and those on security deposits paid for rental housing.
It will enter into force possibly in 2020 after a three-year period to introduce it to the public.
The claims-related sections underwent the first drastic change since the Civil Code was established in 1896.
The revisions are intended to protect consumers amid the spread of Internet transactions and other changes in economic and social situations.
The terms and conditions of commercial services are widely used by insurance companies, mail-order businesses and public transportation operators, among many others, but are prone to problems.
Under the new rules, terms and conditions will be regarded as valid if business operators show them to customers in advance as the basis of contracts. But one-sided clauses that infringe on consumer interests will be invalid.
For apartment lease contracts, the revised clauses of the Civil Code oblige property owners to refund security deposits when tenants move out. They also stipulate that tenants do not need to shoulder repair costs arising from age-related property deterioration.
In response to numerous cases in which cosigning individuals end up facing enormous business loans, the revised clauses require third-party individuals not involved in businesses to express to notaries public their intention before becoming loan guarantors. (Jiji Press)