Act on Electronic Signatures and Certification Business


Published: 2000

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Act on Electronic Signatures and Certification

Business

(Act No. 102 of May 31, 2000)

Chapter I General Provisions

(Purpose)

Article 1 The purpose of this Act is to promote the distribution of information by

electromagnetic forms and information processing through ensuring the

smooth utilization of Electronic Signatures, and thereby to contribute to the

improvement of the citizens' quality of life and the sound development of the

national economy, by providing the presumption of authentic establishment of

electromagnetic records, the accreditation system for designated certification

businesses and other necessary matters, with respect to Electronic Signatures.

(Definitions)

Article 2 (1) The term "Electronic Signature" as used in this Act means a

measure taken with respect to information that can be recorded in an

electromagnetic record (a record that is prepared by an electronic form, a

magnetic form or any other form not perceivable by human senses and that is

used for information processing by computers; hereinafter the same shall apply

in this Act), and which falls under both of the following requirements:

(i) A measure to indicate that such information was created by the person who

has taken such measure; and

(ii) A measure to confirm whether such information has been altered.

(2) The term "Certification Business" as used in this Act means a service that, in

response to either the request of any person who uses the business (hereinafter

referred to as the "User") with respect to the Electronic Signature that he/she

himself/herself performs or the request of another person, certifies that an item

used to confirm that such User performed the Electronic Signature pertains to

such User.

(3) The term "Specified Certification Business" as used in this Act means a

Certification Business that, among Electronic Signatures, is performed with

respect to an Electronic Signature that conforms to the criteria prescribed by

ordinance of the competent minister as an Electronic Signature that can be

performed by that person in response to the method thereof.

Chapter II Presumption of Authentic Establishment of Electromagnetic

Record

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Article 3 Any electromagnetic record that is made in order to express

information (except for that prepared by a public official in the course of

duties) shall be presumed to be established authentically if the Electronic

Signature (limited to that which can be performed by the principal through

appropriate management of codes and properties necessary to perform this) is

performed by the principal with respect to information recorded in such

electromagnetic record.

Chapter III Accreditation, etc. of Specified Certification Business

Section 1 Accreditation of Specified Certification Business

(Accreditation)

Article 4 (1) Any person who intends to perform the Specified Certification

Business may obtain accreditation from competent minister.

(2) Any person who seeks the accreditation set forth in the preceding paragraph

shall submit to the competent minister an application stipulating the matters

listed below and other documents as provided by ordinance of the competent

minister, pursuant to the provisions of ordinance of the competent minister:

(i) The name or corporate names, and the address, and if a juridical person, the

name of its representative;

(ii) The overview of facilities provided for use of the business pertaining to the

application; and

(iii) The method of implementing the business pertaining to the application.

(3) The competent minister shall, when he/she grants the accreditation set forth

in paragraph 1, make public the fact.

(Disqualification Provisions)

Article 5 Any person who falls under any of the following items may not obtain

the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of the preceding Article:

(i) A person who has been punished by a penalty of imprisonment or severer

(including an equivalent penalty pursuant to foreign law), or who has been

punished by a penalty pursuant to this Act, and for whom less than two (2)

years have passed since the day when either the execution of penalty

finished or the penalty came to be no longer executed;

(ii) A person whose accreditation has been withdraw pursuant to the provision

of paragraph 1 of Article 14 or paragraph 1 of Article 16, and for whom less

than two years have passed since the day of withdrawal; or

(iii) A juridical person whose executive director or officer falls under either of

the preceding two items.

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(Criteria for Accreditation)

Article 6 (1) The competent minister shall, only when he/she finds that an

application for the accreditation conforms to all of the following items, grant

the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 4:

(i) The facilities provided for use of the business pertaining to the application

conform to the criteria, as provided by ordinance of the competent minister;

(ii) The confirmation of identity of the User in the business pertaining to the

application is implemented by a method, as provided by ordinance of the

competent minister; and

(iii) In addition to what is listed in the preceding item, business pertaining to

the application is performed by a method that conforms to the criteria, as

provided by ordinance of the competent minister.

(2) In performing an examination for the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of

Article 4, the competent minister shall perform an on-site investigation of the

business system pertaining to the application, pursuant to the provisions of

ordinance of the competent minister.

(Renewal of Accreditation)

Article 7 (1) Unless the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 4 is

renewed for each period of less than one (1) year provided by Cabinet Order,

the accreditation shall become null and void upon the passing of the period.

(2) The provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 4 and the preceding two Articles shall

apply mutatis mutandis to the renewal of accreditation set forth in the

preceding paragraph.

(Succession)

Article 8 If any person who has obtained the accreditation set forth in paragraph

1 of Article 4 (hereinafter referred to as the "Accredited Certification Business

Operator") transfers the whole of the business pertaining to the accreditation,

or a succession, merger or division (limited to what under which the whole of

the business pertaining to the accreditation is succeeded) occurs with respect

to the Accredited Certification Business Operator, any person who has

accepted the whole of the business, or a successor (or a person in cases where

there are two or more successors, if a successor to succeed to the business is

selected with the consent of all of the successors; hereinafter the same shall

apply in this Article), the juridical person surviving after the merger or

established by the merger shall succeed to the position of the Accredited

Certification Business Operator; provided, however, that this shall not apply to

cases where the person who has accepted the whole of the business, the

successor, or the juridical person that survives after the merger, is established

by the merger, or succeeds to the whole of the business by division falls under

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any of the items of Article 5.

(Accreditation, etc. of Modification)

Article 9 (1) If the Accredited Certification Business Operator intends to modify

matters set forth in item 2 or item 3 of paragraph 2 of Article 4, it shall obtain

the accreditation from the competent minister; provided, however, that this

shall not apply to minor modifications as provided by ordinance of the

competent minister.

(2) Any person who seeks the accreditation of modification set forth in the

preceding paragraph shall, submit to the competent minister an application

stipulating matters pertaining to the modification and other documents as

provided by ordinance of the competent minister, pursuant to the provision of

ordinance of the competent minister.

(3) The provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 4 and Article 6 shall apply mutatis

mutandis to the accreditation of modification set forth in paragraph 1.

(4) If any modification has occurred to matters set forth in item 1 of paragraph 2

of Article 4, the Accredited Certification Business Operator shall, without

delay, notify the competent minister of the fact.

(Notification of Abolition)

Article 10 (1) If the Accredited Certification Business Operator intends to

abolish the business pertaining to the accreditation, it shall, in advance, notify

the competent minister of the intention, pursuant to the provisions of

ordinance of the competent minister.

(2) The competent minister shall, when he/she receives the notification set forth

in the provision of the preceding paragraph, make public the fact.

(Books and Documents Relating to Service)

Article 11 The Accredited Certification Business Operator shall prepare and

preserve books and documents relating to the business pertaining to the

accreditation, pursuant to the provisions of ordinance of the competent

minister.

(Proper Use of Information Relating to the Confirmation of the Identity of the

User)

Article 12 The Accredited Certification Business Operator shall not use

information to which it becomes privy in confirming the identity of Users of the

business pertaining to the accreditation, for purposes other than the purpose of

provision for use of the business pertaining to the accreditation.

(Mark)

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Article 13 (1) The Accredited Certification Business Operator may place on an

electronic certificate, etc. (which means an electromagnetic record prepared for

certifying that matters used to confirm that the User has performed the

Electronic Signature are pertaining to such User, and others provided by

ordinance of the competent minister; the same shall apply in the following

paragraph), a mark to the effect that such business has obtained the

accreditation, pursuant to the provisions of ordinance of the competent

minister.

(2) Except for cases prescribed in the preceding paragraph, no person shall place

the mark set forth in the preceding paragraph or any mark that can be

confused with this mark, on any electronic certificate, etc.

(Withdrawal of Accreditation)

Article 14 (1) If the Accredited Certification Business Operator falls under any

of the following items, the competent minister may withdraw the accreditation:

(i) If it falls under either item 1 or item 3 of Article 5;

(ii) If it fails to conform with any of the items of paragraph 1 of Article 6;

(iii) If it violates the provision of paragraph 1 of Article 9, Article 11, Article 12

or paragraph 2 of the preceding Article; or

(iv) If it obtains the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 4 or the

accreditation of modification set forth in paragraph 1 or Article 9, by

wrongful means.

(2) The competent minister shall, when he/she withdraws the accreditation

pursuant to the provision of the preceding paragraph, make public the fact.

Section 2 Accreditation of Specified Certification Business in a Foreign

Country

(Accreditation)

Article 15 (1) Any person who intends to perform the Specified Certification

Business through an office located in a foreign country may obtain the

accreditation from the competent minister.

(2) The provisions of paragraph 2 and paragraph 3 of Article 4 and Article 5 to

Article 7 inclusive shall apply mutatis mutandis to the accreditation set forth

in the preceding paragraph, and the provisions of Article 8 to Article 13

inclusive shall apply mutatis mutandis to a person who has obtained the

accreditation set forth in the preceding paragraph (hereinafter referred to as

the "Accredited Foreign Certification Business Operator"). In this case, the

term "no person" in paragraph 2 of Article 13 shall be deemed to be replaced

with "no Accredited Foreign Certification Business Operator."

(3) In cases where a person who seeks the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1

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or its renewal, or the accreditation of modification set forth in paragraph 1 of

Article 9 applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to the preceding paragraph

performs the Certification Business through an office located in a foreign

country based on a system relating to the Certification Business under the

laws and regulations of such foreign country, and is similar to the system for

the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 4, the competent minister

may, when he/she finds it necessary in order for the Japanese government to

faithfully perform a treaty entered into with such foreign country and other

international agreements, cause those persons to submit documents stipulating

matters provided by ordinance of the competent minister, in lieu of the

investigation pursuant to the provision of paragraph 2 of Article 6 applied

mutatis mutandis pursuant to the preceding paragraph (including cases where

it is applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 7 applied

mutatis mutandis pursuant to the preceding paragraph, and it is applied

mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 3 of Article 9).

(4) In the case referred to in the preceding paragraph, the competent minister

shall, when he/she receives such documents from these persons, perform the

examination for the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 or its renewal, or the

accreditation of modification set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 9 applied

mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 2, in consideration of such documents.

(Withdrawal of Accreditation)

Article 16 (1) If the Accredited Foreign Certification Business Operator falls

under any of the following items, the competent minister may withdraw the

accreditation:

(i) If it falls under either item 1 or item 3 of Article 5 applied mutatis mutandis

pursuant to paragraph 2 of the preceding Article;

(ii) If it fails to conform to any of the items of paragraph 1 of Article 6 applied

mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 2 of the preceding Article;

(iii) If it violates the provision of paragraph 1 or paragraph 4 of Article 9,

Article 11, Article 12, or paragraph 2 of Article 13 applied mutatis mutandis

pursuant to paragraph 2 of the preceding Article;

(iv) If it obtains the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of the preceding

article, or the accreditation of modification set forth in paragraph 1 of Article

9 applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 2 of the preceding Article,

by wrongful means;

(v) If, in a case where the competent minister makes the Accredited Foreign

Certification Business Operator report pursuant to the provision of

paragraph 1 of Article 35 applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 3

of Article 35, it does not make the report or makes a false report; or

(vi) If, in a case where the competent minister makes the ministry official

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perform an inspection at a business office, office or other workplaces of the

Accredited Foreign Certification Business Operator pursuant to the provision

of paragraph 1 of Article 35 applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph

3 of Article 35, it refuses, precludes or avoids the inspection, or does not

answer a question pursuant to the provision of paragraph 1 of Article 35, or

gives a false answer.

(2) The competent minister shall, when he/she withdraws the accreditation

pursuant to the provision of the preceding paragraph, make public the fact.

Chapter IV Designated Investigative Organization, etc.

Section 1 Designated Investigative Organization

(Investigation by Designated Investigative Organization)

Article 17 (1) The competent minister may make his/her designate person (the

"Designated Investigative Organization") perform an investigation (hereinafter

referred to as the "Investigation"; except for in the following section), in whole

or in part, which is set forth in the provision of paragraph 2 of Article 6

(including cases where it is applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 2

of Article 7 [including cases where it is applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to

paragraph 2 of Article 15], paragraph 3 of Article 9 [including cases where it is

applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 15], and

paragraph 2 of Article 15).

(2) If the competent minister makes the Designated Investigative Organization

perform the Investigation, in whole or in part, pursuant to the provision of the

preceding paragraph, he/she shall not perform the Investigation, in whole or in

part. In this case, the competent minister shall perform an examination for the

accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 4 or its renewal, or the

accreditation of modification set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 9 (including

cases where it is applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article

15), or the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 15 or its renewal, in

consideration of the results of the Investigation notified by the Designated

Investigative Organization pursuant to the provision of paragraph 4.

(3) If the competent minister makes the Designated Investigative Organization

perform the Investigation, in whole or in part, pursuant to the provision of

paragraph 1, with respect to the Investigation performed by the Designated

Investigative Organization, any person who seeks the accreditation set forth in

paragraph 1 of Article 4 or its renewal, the accreditation of modification set

forth in paragraph 1 of Article 9 (including cases where it is applied mutatis

mutandis pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 15), or the accreditation set forth

in paragraph 1 of Article 15 or its renewal shall make an application to the

Designated Investigative Organization pursuant to the provisions of ordinance

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of the competent minister, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 2 of

Article 4 (including cases where it is applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to

paragraph 2 of Article 7 [including cases where it is applied mutatis mutandis

pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 15], and paragraph 2 of Article 15), and

paragraph 2 of Article 9 (including cases where it is applied mutatis mutandis

pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 15).

(4) If the Designated Investigative Organization performs the Investigation

pertaining to the application set forth in the preceding paragraph, it shall,

without delay, notify the competent minister of the results of such

Investigation, pursuant to the provision of ordinance of the competent minister.

(Designation)

Article 18 The designation set forth in the provision of paragraph 1 of the

preceding Article (hereinafter referred to as the "Designation") shall be made

pursuant to the provisions of ordinance of the competent minister, in

accordance with the application made by a person who intends to perform the

Investigation (except for a person who intends to perform it through an office

located in a foreign country).

(Disqualification Provisions)

Article 19 Any person who falls under any of the following items shall not

receive the Designation:

(i) A person who has been punished by a penalty of imprisonment or severer, or

who has been punished by a penalty pursuant to this Act, and for whom less

than two (2) years have passed since the day when either the execution of the

penalty finished or the penalty came to be no longer executed;

(ii) A person whose Designation has been rescinded pursuant to the provision

of paragraph 1 of Article 29 or whose approval has been rescinded pursuant

to the provision of paragraph 1 of Article 32, and for whom less than two (2)

years have passed since the day of the rescission; or

(iii) A juridical person whose executive director or officer falls under either of

the preceding two items.

(Criteria for Designation)

Article 20 The competent minister shall, only when he/she finds that the

application for Designation conforms to all of the following items, make the

Designation:

(i) It possesses the financial base and technical capability sufficient for proper

and precise, and smooth implementation of the Investigation business;

(ii) If a juridical person, there is no risk that its director or officer, or

constitution of members prescribed by ordinance of the competent minister in

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proportion to the category of the juridical person interferes with the fair

implementation of the Investigation;

(iii) In a case where it implements businesses other than the Investigation

business, there is no risk that the Investigation comes to be unfair by

performing the businesses; and

(iv) Making the Designation does not impede the proper and precise, and

smooth implementation of the Investigation pertaining to the application.

(Public Notice, etc. of Designation)

Article 21 (1) The competent minister shall, when he/she makes the Designation,

make public the corporate name and address of the Designated Investigative

Organization, and the location of the office performing the Investigation

business.

(2) The Designated Investigative Organization shall, when it intends to modify

its corporate name or address, or the location of the office performing the

Investigation business, notify the competent minister of the fact at least two

(2) weeks prior to the day of the modification.

(3) The competent minister shall, when he/she receives the notification set forth

in the provision of the preceding paragraph, make public the fact.

(Renewal of Designation)

Article 22 (1) Unless the Designation is renewed for each period of five (5) years

to ten (10) years provided by Cabinet Order, the Designation shall become null

and void upon the passing of the period.

(2) Provisions of Article 18 to Article 20 inclusive shall apply mutatis mutandis

to the renewal of Designation set forth in the preceding paragraph.

(Confidentiality Obligation, etc.)

Article 23 (1) Any director or officer of the Designated Investigative

Organization (or any individual who has received such Designation, if the

Designated Investigative Organization is not a juridical person; the same shall

apply in the following paragraph, and Article 43 and Article 45), or any

employee or person who has assumed these positions shall not divulge any

secret relating to the Investigation business to which they become privy.

(2) Any director or officer, or employee of the Designated Investigative

Organization who is engaged in the Investigation business shall be deemed to

be an employee engaged in public service pursuant to the laws and regulations,

with respect to the application of the Criminal Code (Act No. 45 of 1907) and

other penalties.

(Obligation of Investigation)

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Article 24 If the Designated Investigative Organization is requested to perform

the Investigation, it shall, without delay, perform the Investigation except for

cases where it has any justifiable reason.

(Investigation Business Rules)

Article 25 (1) The Designated Investigative Organization shall provide rules for

the Investigation business (hereinafter referred to as the "Investigation

Business Rules"), and receive the approval of the competent minister. The

same shall apply to any modification of the Investigation Business Rules.

(2) Matters to be provided in the Investigation Business Rules shall be provided

by ordinance of the competent minister.

(3) The competent minister may, when he/she finds that the Investigation

Business Rules approved in paragraph 1 become inappropriate in the fair

implementation of the Investigation, order modification of the Investigation

Service Rules.

(Entry in Books)

Article 26 The Designated Investigative Organization shall, pursuant to the

provisions of ordinance of the competent minister, prepare and preserve the

books upon entering matters as provided by ordinance of the competent

minister, with respect to the Investigation business.

(Order of Conformity)

Article 27 The competent minister may, when he/she finds that the Designated

Investigative Organization fails to conform to item 1 through item 3 of Article

20, order the Designated Investigative Organization to take necessary

measures to conform to these provisions.

(Discontinuance and Abolition of Service)

Article 28 (1) The Designated Investigative Organization shall not discontinue

or abolish the Investigation business, in whole or in part, without the

permission of the competent minister.

(2) The competent minister shall, when he/she grants the permission set forth in

the preceding paragraph, make public the fact.

(Rescission, etc. of Designation)

Article 29 (1) If the Designated Investigative Organization falls under any of the

following items, the competent minister may rescind the designation, or order

suspension of the Investigation business, in whole or in part, within a

prescribed period of time:

(i) If it violates the provisions of this Section;

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(ii) If it falls under item 1 or item 3 of Article 19;

(iii) If it fails to perform the Investigation business in compliance with the

approved Investigation Business Rules set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 25;

(iv) If it violates orders pursuant to the provision of paragraph 3 of Article 25

or Article 27; or

(v) If it receives the Designation by wrongful means.

(2) The competent minister shall, when he/she rescinds the Designation or orders

to suspend the Investigation business, in whole or in part, pursuant to the

provision of the preceding paragraph, make public the fact.

(Implementation of Investigation Business by the Competent Minister)

Article 30 (1) If the Designated Investigative Organization suspends the

Investigation business, in whole or in part, pursuant to the provision of

paragraph 1 of Article 28, the competent minister orders the Designated

Investigative Organization to discontinue the Investigation business, in whole

or in part, pursuant to the provision of paragraph 1 of the preceding Article, or

the Designated Investigative Organization falls into a difficult state to

implement the Investigation business, in whole or in part, due to natural

disasters or other reasons, the competent ministry himself/herself shall, when

he/she finds necessary, perform the Investigation business, in whole or in part,

notwithstanding the provision of paragraph 2 of Article 17.

(2) The competent minister shall perform the Investigation business pursuant to

the provision of the preceding paragraph, or if he/she decides not to perform

the Investigation business performed pursuant to the provision of the

preceding paragraph, the competent minister shall make public the fact, in

advance.

(3) In cases where the competent minister performs the Investigation business

pursuant to the provision of paragraph 1, and permits abolition of the

Investigation business pursuant to the provision of paragraph 1 of Article 28,

or rescinds the Designation pursuant to the provision of paragraph 1 of the

preceding Article, the succession of the investigation service or other necessary

matters shall be provided by ordinance of the competent minister.

Section 2 Approved Investigative Organization

(Approval, etc. of Approved Investigative Organization)

Article 31 (1) If any person who intends to perform (limited to a person who

intends to perform through an office located in a foreign country) the

Investigation (hereinafter referred to as the "Investigation" in this Section), in

whole or in part, pursuant to the provision of paragraph 2 of Article 6 applied

mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 15 (including cases where

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it is applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 7 applied

mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 15, and paragraph 3 of

Article 9) makes an application, the competent minister may approve this

application pursuant to the provisions of ordinance of the competent minister.

(2) If the competent minister has made the approval set forth in the preceding

paragraph, with respect to the Investigation performed by a person who has

received the approval set forth in the preceding paragraph (hereinafter

referred to as the "Approved Investigative Organization"), any person who

seeks the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 15 or its renewal, or

the accreditation of modification set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 9 applied

mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 15, may make an

application to the Approved Investigative Organization, pursuant to the

provision of ordinance of the competent minister, notwithstanding the

provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 4 applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to

paragraph 2 of Article 15 (including cases where it is applied mutatis mutandis

pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 7 applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to

paragraph 2 of Article 15), paragraph 2 of Article 9 applied mutatis mutandis

pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 15, and paragraph 3 of Article 17. In this

case, the competent minister shall perform the examination for the

accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 15 or its renewal, or the

accreditation of modification set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 9 applied

mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 15, in consideration of the

results of the Investigation notified by the Approved Investigative

Organization pursuant to the provision of the following paragraph.

(3) If the Approved Investigative Organization performs the Investigation

pertaining to the application set forth in the preceding paragraph, it shall,

without delay, notify the competent minister of the results of the Investigation,

pursuant to the provisions of ordinance of the competent minister.

(4) If the Approved Investigative Organization discontinues or abolishes the

Investigation business, in whole or in part, it shall, without delay, notify the

competent minister of such event.

(5) The competent minister shall, when he/she receives the notification set forth

in the provision of the preceding paragraph, make public the fact.

(6) The provisions of Article 19 to Article 22 inclusive shall apply mutatis

mutandis to the approval set forth in paragraph 1, and the provisions of Article

24 to Article 27 inclusive shall apply mutatis mutandis to the Approved

Investigative Organization. In this case, the term "order" in paragraph 3 of

Article 25, and Article 27 shall be deemed to be replaced with "request."

(Rescission of Approval)

Article 32 (1) If the Approved Investigative Organization falls under any of the

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following items, the competent minister may rescind the approval:

(i) If it violates the provision of paragraph 3 or paragraph 4 of the preceding

Article, paragraph 2 of Article 21 applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to

paragraph 6 of the preceding Article, Article 24, paragraph 1 of Article 25, or

Article 26;

(ii) If it falls under item 1 or item 3 of Article 19 applied mutatis mutandis

pursuant to paragraph 6 of the preceding Article;

(iii) If it fails to perform the Investigation business in compliance with the

approved Investigation Business Rules set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 25

applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 6 of the preceding Article;

(iv) If it does not respond to the request set forth in paragraph 3 of Article 25

applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 6 of the preceding Article,

or Article 27;

(v) If it receives the approval set forth in paragraph 1 of the preceding Article,

by wrongful means;

(vi) If, in a case where the competent minister finds that the Approved

Investigative Organization falls under any of the above items, and requests

suspension of the Investigation business, in whole or in part, within a

prescribed period of time, it does not respond to the request;

(vii) If, in a case where the competent minister makes the Approved

Investigative Organization report pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 35

applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 3 of Article 35, it does not

make the report or makes a false report, or

(viii) If, in a case where the competent minister makes its ministry official

perform an inspection at a business office of the Approved Investigative

Organization pursuant to the provision of paragraph 2 of Article 35 applied

mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph 3 of Article 35, it refuses, precludes

or avoids the inspection, or does not answer questions pursuant to the

provision of paragraph 2, or gives false answers.

(2) The competent minister shall, when he/she rescinds the approval pursuant to

the provision of the preceding paragraph, make public the fact.

Chapter V Miscellaneous Provisions

(Assistance, etc. for Specified Certification Business)

Article 33 The competent minister shall endeavor to investigate and research

technical opinions pertaining to the Electronic Signature and Certification

Business, and provide necessary information, advice and other assistance to

the person who performs the Specified Certification Business and its Users, for

the purpose of smooth implementation of the accreditation system with respect

to the Specified Certification Business.

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(Measures by the National Government)

Article 34 The national government shall endeavor to deepen public

understanding with respect to the Electronic Signature and Certification

Business, through public education activities and public information activities.

(Collection of Reports and On-Site Inspection)

Article 35 (1) The competent minister may, to the extent necessary to enforce

this Act, make the Accredited Certification Business Operator report with

respect to the business pertaining to its accreditation, or the ministry official

enter the business office, office or other workplaces of the Accredited

Certification Business Operator, and inspect the condition of the business

pertaining to the accreditation or facilities, books and documents, and other

properties or question the relevant person.

(2) The competent minister may, to the extent necessary to enforce this Act,

make the Designated Investigative Organization report on its business, or the

ministry official enter the office of the Designated Investigative Organization,

and inspect the condition of the business or books, documents, and other

properties or question the relevant person.

(3) The provision of paragraph 1 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the Accredited

Foreign Certification Business Operator, and the provision of the preceding

paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis with respect to the Approved

Investigative Organization, respectively.

(4) The ministry official who performs the on-site inspection pursuant to the

provisions of paragraph 1 and paragraph 2 (including cases where each is

applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to the preceding paragraph) shall carry the

certificate indicating his/her status, and present it to the relevant person.

(5) The authority of on-site inspection pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 1

and paragraph 2 (including cases where they are applied mutatis mutandis

pursuant to paragraph 3, respectively) shall not be construed as being granted

for criminal investigations.

(Fees)

Article 36 (1) Any person listed in the following items shall pay to the national

government the fee provided by Cabinet Order in consideration of the actual

cost.

(i) A person who seeks the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 4

(except for cases where the competent minister makes the Designated

Investigative Organization perform the inspection, in whole, pursuant to the

provision of paragraph 1 of Article 17);

(ii) A person who seeks the renewal of accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of

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Article 7 (including cases where it is applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to

paragraph 2 of Article 15);

(iii) A person who seeks the accreditation of modification set forth in paragraph

1 of Article 9 (including cases where it is applied mutatis mutandis pursuant

to paragraph 2 of Article 15); and

(iv) A person who seeks the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 15

(except for cases where the competent minister makes the Designated

Investigative Organization perform the inspection, in whole, pursuant to the

provision of paragraph 1 of Article 17).

(2) Any person who seeks the inspection performed by the Designated

Investigative Organization shall pay to such Designated Investigative

Organization the fee that the Designated Investigative Organization specifies

in response to the approval of the competent minister, pursuant to the

provisions of the Cabinet Order.

(Relationship between the Competent Minister and the National Public Safety

Commission)

Article 37 With respect to the business pertaining to the accreditation of the

Accredited Certification Business Operator or the Accredited Foreign

Certification Business Operator, the National Public Safety Commission may,

when it finds necessary to prevent an occurrence of serious damage pertaining

to the certification with respect to its User, request the competent minister to

take necessary measures.

(Examination Request)

Article 38 Any person who is dissatisfied with respect to disposition or inaction

of the Designated Investigative Organization pursuant to the provisions of this

Act may make an examination request to the competent minister pursuant to

the Administrative Appeal Act (Act No. 160 of 1962).

(Transitional Measures)

Article 39 In a case where the Cabinet Order or ordinance of the competent

minister is established under this Act, or is revised or abolished, the Cabinet

Order or ordinance of the competent minister may provide necessary

transitional measures (including transitional measures relating to penalties),

to the extent determined as necessary along with its establishment, or revision

or abolition.

(Competent Minister, etc.)

Article 40 (1) The competent minister as used in this Act means the Minister of

Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, the

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Minister of Justice, and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, provided,

however, that in Article 33, the competent minister means the Minister of

Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications and the

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.

(2) Ordinance of the competent minister as used in this Act means an order that

is jointly issued by the Minister of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts

and Telecommunications, the Minister of Justice, and the Minister of Economy,

Trade and Industry.

Chapter VI Penal Provisions

Article 41 (1) Any person who makes a false application and causes the

Accredited Certification Business Operator or the Accredited Foreign

Certification Business Operator to perform false certification on the User, with

respect to the Certification Business pertaining to the accreditation shall be

punished by imprisonment for not more than three (3) years or a fine of not

more than 2,000,000 yen.

(2) An attempted crime of the preceding paragraph shall be punished.

(3) The crimes set forth in the preceding two paragraphs shall be governed by

Article 2 of the Criminal Code.

Article 42 Any person who falls under either of the following items shall be

punished by imprisonment with work for not more than one (1) year or a fine of

not more than 1,000,000 yen:

(i) A person who violates the provision of paragraph 2 of Article 13; or

(ii) A person who violates the provision of paragraph 1 of Article 23, and

divulges secrets relating to his/her duties to which he/she becomes privy.

Article 43 A director or officer, or an employee of the Designated Investigative

Organization who violates the order to suspend the business set forth in the

provision of paragraph 1 of Article 29 shall be punished by imprisonment with

work for not more than one (1) year or a fine of not more than 1,000,000 yen.

Article 44 Any person who falls under any of the following items shall be

punished by a fine of not more than 300,000 yen:

(i) A person who has modified the matters set forth in item 2 or item 3 of

paragraph 2 of Article 4 in violation of the provision of paragraph 1 of Article

9;

(ii) A person who has not prepared or preserved books and documents set forth

in the provision of Article 11, or prepared false books and documents; or

(iii) A person who has not made a report set forth in the provision of paragraph

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1 of Article 35 or has made a false report, or has refused, precluded or

avoided the inspection set forth in the provision of paragraph 1 of Article 35,

or has not answered a question set forth in the provision of paragraph 1 of

Article 35, or has given a false answer.

Article 45 In case of falling under any of the following items, a director or officer,

or an employee of the Designated Investigative Organization who commits the

violation shall be punished by a fine of not more than 300,000 yen:

(i) If he/she has not made entries in books pursuant to the provision of Article

26, has made false entries in the books, or has not preserved the books;

(ii) If he/she violates the provision of paragraph 1 of Article 28, and abolishes

the whole investigation business; or

(iii) If he/she has not made a report set forth in the provision of paragraph 2 of

Article 35 or has made a false report, or has refused, precluded or avoided

the inspection set forth in the provision of paragraph 2 of Article 35, or has

not answered a question set forth in the provision of paragraph 2 of Article

35, or has given a false answer.

Article 46 When a representative of a juridical person, or an agent, employee or

other worker of a juridical person or an individual commits the violation set

forth in item 1 of Article 42 or Article 44 with respect to the business of the

juridical person or the individual, not only the offender shall be punished but

also the juridical person or individual shall be punished by the fine prescribed

in the respective Articles.

Article 47 Any person who has not made a notification set forth in the provision

of paragraph 4 of Article 9 or paragraph 1 of Article 10, or has made a false

notification shall be punished by a non-penal fine of not more than 100,000 yen.

Supplementary Provisions

(Effective Date)

Article 1 This Act shall come into force as from April 1, 2001, provided, however,

that the provision of the following Article shall come into force as from March 1,

2001, and the provision of Article 4 of Supplementary Provisions shall come

into force as from the day of enforcement of the Act on the Arrangement of

Related Acts that Accompany the Enforcement of Acts that Revise Parts of the

Commercial Code, etc. (Act No. 91 of 2000).

(Preparatory Actions)

Article 2 The Designation set forth in the provision of paragraph 1 of Article 17,

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procedures necessary for this, and other actions may be governed by the

provisions of Article 18 to Article 20 inclusive, paragraph 1 of Article 21, and

paragraph 1 and paragraph 2 of Article 25, even before the enforcement of this

Act.

(Review)

Article 3 If five (5) years have passed after the enforcement of this Act, the

government shall review the status of enforcement of this Act and take

necessary measures based on the results.

(Partial Revision of the Act on the Arrangement of Related Acts that

Accompany the Enforcement of Acts that Revise Parts of the Commercial

Code, etc.)

Article 4 The Act on the Arrangement of Related Acts that Accompany the

Enforcement of Acts that Revise Parts of the Commercial Code, etc. shall be

revised, in part, as specified below.

The following Article shall be added following Article 150.

(Partial Revision of the Act on Electronic Signatures and Certification

Business)

Article 150-2 The Act on Electronic Signatures and Certification Services (Act

No. 102 of 2000) shall be revised, in part, as specified below.

In Article 8, the phrase "or merger" shall be revised to "merger or division

(limited to what under which the whole of the business pertaining to the

accreditation is succeeded)," the phrase "or after merger" shall be revised to

the phrase "after the merger," and the phrase "or succeeds to the whole of the

business by division" shall be added after the phrase "established by the

merger."

(Partial Revision of the Act on Electronic Signatures and Certification

Business)

Article 196 The Act on Electronic Signatures and Certification Business shall be

revised, in part, as specified below.

In item 1 of paragraph 1 of Article 36, the phrase "or its renewal" shall be

deleted, and the phrase "(except for cases where the competent minister makes

the Designated Investigative Organization perform the inspection, in whole,

pursuant to the provision of paragraph 1 of Article 17)" shall be added after the

phrase "A person who seeks the accreditation set forth in paragraph 1 of

Article 4." And, in item 3 of paragraph 1, the phrase "or its renewal" shall be

deleted, and the phrase "(except for cases where the competent minister makes

the Designated Investigative Organization perform the inspection, in whole,

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pursuant to the provision of paragraph 1 of Article 17)" shall be added after the

phrase "A person who seeks the accreditation of modification set forth in

paragraph 1 of Article 9." Furthermore, item 3 of paragraph 1 shall be deemed

to be replaced with item 4 of paragraph 1, item 2 of paragraph 1 shall be

deemed to be replaced with item 3 of paragraph 1, and the following item shall

be added after item 1 of paragraph 1.

(ii) A person who seeks the renewal of accreditation set forth in paragraph 1

of Article 7 (including cases where it is applied mutatis mutandis pursuant

to paragraph 2 of Article 15);

Supplementary Provisions

This Act shall come into force as from April 1, 2006.

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