Can a kabushiki kaisha without a representative director legitimately do business in Japan?

It’s an emphatic no, right? Even though a few foreign companies try this every now and again. More in a bit.

Also: Arudou Debito finally takes a well-deserved vacation. Why you should read his books, and especially get “Handbook”.

[Update: Yes, so on the first one, you may or may not know that kabushiki kaisha is the “K.K'” that you see attached to so many corporation names in Japan. What the corporation law says is that a K.K. must have at least one representative director who has a registered address in Japan and resides in Japan. It is not a maildrop or a place that that the director claims is his residence when he/she in fact resides in another country.

If you don’t have a valid representative director, you’re really doing business illegally in Japan and are supposed to shut down, right?

I am dealing with a situation where a place I dealt with a few years ago did not have a resident representative director. Now, they want to pretend they did. I have the evidence that, no, they did not. But I want one of you legal eagles to tell me what the ramifications are, if they are not what I think they are . . . ]

[Update #2: I was happy to see that Debito is taking a break from near-daily posting on his popular blog, Debito dot org. He has really been doing a lot to raise issues of civil rights, equal protection and fundamental fairness through his writings and other, kind of, awareness raising of the many unnecessary difficulties that non-Japanese face in Japan.

I can’t stress enough that I don’t think the moniker “controversial” should ever apply to what he has been doing over the past 12+ years. I think it’s more fitting to say that he has been doing the necessary pointing out about situations that really shouldn’t be existing in the first place.

It is good to hear that he’s writing another book. I never read the first two, (because I learned that they were mostly the same as writings out on the internet website anyway.) But one of my most favorite books is the “Handbook for Newcomers”, and I just always suggest to people that they buy the hardcopy of if. I think Debito got smart and realized that if you’re going to give out information, then put it in a book and not out on the net first.

But just practically, the Handbook has a wealth of information about basic areas of living in Japan, like having a job, getting married, renting and apartment—all these sorts of things.

I have occasionally offered suggestions for a version 2.0 of the book, when you get into heavier stuff in Japan like “hey, I have no pension from my employer!” or “hey, my landlord is overcharging me and telling me that my apartment is governed under the hotel law, not the land lease law!” Or how about this one: “hey, my employer wants to term-limit me out of regular employment, so they’ve stuck a contract under my nose to sign, and threaten not to keep me on payroll if I don’t!”

Those would be good version 2.0 topics.

I don’t know what Debito’s actual forthcoming book is, but if I find out from him (because I intend to ask), I will probably be sworn to secrecy anyway.

Good luck, Debito! And get away from the net for a while!]