On May 11, 2022, the Diet of Japan approved the “Act on the promotion of national security through integrated economic measures.” Key features of the Act include the establishment of (i) a system to ensure stable supplies of critical materials, (ii) a system to ensure stable provision of services using critical infrastructure, (iii) a system that supports the development of critical technologies and (iv) a secret patent system. The Act will enter into force on or before 18 February 2023.
In June 2022, amendments to the Whistleblower Protection Act, which protects employees who have reported violations of certain laws specified in the WPA, are expected to come into force. Amongst other items, the Amended WPA includes a mandatory obligation for companies of a certain size to establish a whistleblowing system with the aim of ensuring the protection of whistleblowers.
On April 28, 2021, the House of Councilors of Japan approved the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), nearly completing the ratification process that began with RCEP’s approval by the lower house of the Diet on April 15. Japan is expected to formally deposit its ratification instrument with the ASEAN Secretariat after a few remaining internal procedures.