FAQ about Copyright System of Japan

Is my work protected in Japan?

Yes. In Japan, the follwoing works enjoy copyright protection:
① works of Japanese nationals
② works first published in Japan, including those first published outside Japan and thereafter published in Japan within 30 (thirty) days of the date of their first publication
③  works to which Japan has the obligation to grant protection under international treaties
Among ‘international treaties’ in the above-mentioned are Bern Convention (the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works), TRIPs Agreement (the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights), WCT (the WIPO Copyright Treaty) and so on. Today, almost all countries are members of Bern Convention and so if you are a member's national, Japan has the obligaton to grant copyright protection to your work.

Copyright protection is based on the respective domestic laws.  In other words, each country is, in principle, free to determine with its sovereignty the extent of protection which the country applies domestically insofar as its domestic laws conform to particular international instruments.  International instruments, or conventions that have come into force since the 19th century provide for a certain degree of international harmonization of copyright protection in all signatories.  Furthermore, these conventions, in most cases, interact with one another.  Today, most countries of the world belong to at least one of such conventions.  All of these conventions (treaties) make sure that in every signatory, foreign authors enjoy the same rights as the national authors (according to the principle of ‘national treatment’), and provide for a certain minimum standard (international miminum standard) of copyright or neighboring right protection in respect of, among other things, its scope and duration.

     Kaneda Copyright Agency
     For proper copyright management in Japan

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