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At Nishimura & Asahi, our fundamental mission is to contribute to the realization of an affluent and fair society based on “the rule of law.” In…
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Nishimura & Asahi | Japan | 13 Sep 2021

Japan selects first round of recipients for green innovation fund

The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation has selected the initial group of 11 recipients for funding under Japan's Y2 trillion green innovation fund, which was established by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in March 2021. The selected projects concern either the construction of a large-scale hydrogen supply chain or the production of hydrogen through water......
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Nishimura & Asahi | Japan | 16 Aug 2021

Copyright licensees are stronger than ever before in Japan

Until the amendment to the Copyright Act entered into force in October 2020, copyright licensees were unable to assert their licences against new copyright holders in Japan. Due to the amendment, this is now possible. It is hoped that the amendment will facilitate copyright licensing transactions in Japan, as the unstable status of licensees has often been an obstacle in licensing......
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Nishimura & Asahi | Japan | 9 Aug 2021

Changes to decommissioning reserve requirements for solar power projects

The amendments to the Act on Special Measures Concerning the Procurement of Renewable Energy Electricity by Electricity Solar-Power Generation Operators require operators of solar-power generation facilities with capacities of at least 10kW to maintain a decommissioning reserve. Pursuant to the amendments two types of decommissioning reserve systems are available. The external reserve system......
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Nishimura & Asahi | Japan | 19 Jul 2021

Offshore wind bidding for round 1 areas in Japan

In 2020 the government commenced the tender process for the first round of offshore zones under Japan's new offshore wind law. This article briefly summarises the tender process of the round 1 areas and provides an update on the tender process expected for additional sea areas.
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Nishimura & Asahi | 28 Jun 2021

Recent regulatory developments in hydrogen energy use

In October 2020 Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that Japan will aim for carbon neutrality and substantially zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. The promotion of hydrogen use is expected to become an important part of achieving a carbon neutral society. However, the current legal system does not contemplate the use of hydrogen and, as such, it is necessary to clarify the applicable......
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Nishimura & Asahi | Japan | 31 May 2021

METI green innovation fund

In order to help achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has decided to develop a green innovation fund of Y2 trillion as part of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation. METI has noted that the fund should focus on providing support to companies engaging in fields which have significant policy effects and......
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Nishimura & Asahi | Japan | 10 May 2021

Court dismisses Starbucks's trademark invalidation request despite survey results

The IP High Court recently confirmed the Japan Patent Office (JPO) Trial and Appeal Board's decision to dismiss Starbucks Corporation's request to invalidate a trademark which had a similar composition to that of its own. To prove that the composition of its trademark was well known and characteristic, Starbucks conducted a survey through a research company using an image that had undergone......
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Nishimura & Asahi | Japan | 19 Apr 2021

Updates to solar FIT decommissioning fee regulations

In June 2020 a bill was enacted pursuant to which the Japanese authorities can withhold a portion of payments under a power purchase agreement that will instead be placed in a reserve to cover decommissioning costs. While the final decommissioning regulations have not yet been published, a detailed outline of the regulations was recently published for public comment.
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Nishimura & Asahi | Japan | 5 Apr 2021

Biomass power generation: supply and sustainability

Biomass-fuelled power generation facilities continue to play an important role in Japan's renewable energy portfolio. While the requirements in this respect are complex, interest in biomass renewable energy remains strong. Further, it is anticipated that as the sustainability rules applicable to woody and agricultural biomass fuels are settled, interest and investment in the biomass industry......
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Nishimura & Asahi | Japan | 22 Mar 2021

Reformed Design Act expands protection for graphic images

The reformed Design Act came into force in 2020. This act expands the scope of protection for graphic images, meaning that they need not be recorded or displayed on articles (eg, computers or smartphones) to be considered protectable designs. According to statistics from the Japan Patent Office, 685 such applications had been filed as of January 2021.
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