News on Copyright Issues in Japan

October 9, 2013-The IP Exporter: The Trans Pacific Partnership and Its Implications on Online Copyright Enforcement

July 22, 2013-
The Japan Times: Farmers stealing TPP spotlight from other key issues

July 18, 2013-
EFF: What Will Japan's Entry into TPP Mean for Internet Users

September 13, 2012
-NewsStand: Japan Becomes First ACTA Signatory to Ratify Agreement (links to

September 12, 2012-Stuff: Japan no closer to joining TPP trade talks (links to

September 11, 2012-The West: New Zealand pushes Japan to join Pacific trade pact (links to

September 10, 2012-IT News: Anonymous protests ACTA ratification in Japan (links to

August 21, 2012-EFF: Japan's Copyright Problems: National Policies, ACTA, and TPP in the Horizon (links to

October 31, 2011-Anime News Network:Negima's Akamatsu Warns Against Changing Japan's Copyright Laws (links to



Japan became the first country to ratify ACTA in September 2012. This action was criticized by Japanese Internet rights groups, including Japan’s Internet Watch, which claimed the act had been pushed quickly through the House of Representatives, with little or no public debate. These decisions came on the heels of another decision by the Japanese government: to implement revisions to their copyright law that would make illegal, among other things, the “intentional download of illegally uploaded materials.” The bill also places restrictions on digital content, such as the circumvention of DRM on DVDs.

In a parallel effort against ACTA, Japanese citizens demonstrated widespread criticism of the TPP, despite the fact that Japan only recently engaged in procedures to join. Opponents initiated a lively debate on Twitter and launched multiple Internet protest sites including No TPP for Japan nor the World, Stop TPP!!, and a site that roughly translates as “Even a Monkey Could Understand TPP. In August 2012, anti-TPP protesters organized weekly anti-TPP rallies each Tuesday in front of the Prime Minister’s office.

In May and June of 2013, civil society groups in Japan organized another series of campaign actions against the TPP. A large street rally was held on May 25, 2013 in which over two thousand people marched through Tokyo. The "Conference to Consider the TPP," "People's Action against TPP," and "Stop TPP!! Civil Action" organized assemblies and symposiums across 11 different venues in Japan, featuring guests from other TPP countries -- including New Zealand and the U.S. Following a symposium on May 30th, a number of groups released a statement opposing the agreement.

Although the country’s farmers have staged many of the large-scale protests in Japan against the TPP, concerned copyright and Internet rights activists have also been involved in opposing the agreement. Three copyright groups -- Creative Commons Japan, thinkC (Forum for the Copyright Term Extension Problem), and MIAU (Movement for the Internet Active Users) -- have created a website entitled “Think TPP IP”. On this site, the groups state their intention to organize an open forum in which to share their concerns, as well as collect signatures for their petition and coordinate with international allies. According to a joint statement featured on their website, the groups fear the lack of transparency surrounding the negotiations and the possible implications the agreement’s intellectual property chapter could have on freedom of information in Japan. Their petition calls on the government either to open the talks up to public scrutiny or drop the entire IP chapter of the TPP. MIAU is also one of the core members of the international Fair Deal Coalition, working with other copyright and Internet freedom groups across the TPP member nations through the international Fair Deal Coalition.  


Sign the petition from the Japan Forum for Intellectual Property Aspects and Transparency of TPP

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