Act on Regulation of Transmission of Specified Electronic Mail


Published: 2005

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Act on Regulation of Transmission of Specified

Electronic Mail

(Act No. 26 of April 17, 2002)

Chapter I General Provisions (Articles 1 and 2)

(Purpose)

Article 1 The purpose of this Act, in light of the recognized need to prevent

hindrances to transmission and reception of Electronic Mails due to

simultaneous transmission, etc. of Specified Electronic Mails to many persons,

is, by specifying measures, etc. for proper transmission of Specified Electronic

Mails, to prepare a preferable environment for the use of Electronic Mails, and

thereby to contribute to the sound development of an advanced information

and communications society.

(Definitions)

Article 2 In this Act, the meanings of the terms listed in the following items

shall be as prescribed respectively in those items.

(i) The term "Electronic Mail" means telecommunications (referring to

telecommunications as specified under Article 2 item i) of the

Telecommunications Business Law (Act No. 86 of 1984)) to transmit

information, including texts, to specified persons by having screens of

communications terminals (including input/output devices; the same shall

apply in the following article) used by said specified persons display said

information, and which uses communications methods specified in the

applicable Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (hereinafter

referred to as "MIC") ordinance.

(ii) The term "Specified Electronic Mail" means Electronic Mail, which a person

who sends Electronic Mail (limited to an organization for profit and a person

in cases where the person is engaged in business; hereinafter referred to as a

"sender"), sends persons other than the following persons as a means of

advertisement for their own sales activities or for others.

(a) A person who has notified the sender of the request or the consent to send

Specified Electronic Mail prior to the transmission thereof (except a person

who has notified said sender of the request not to send said Electronic Mail

after said notification)

(b) A person who has a business relationship with a person engaged in sales

activities relating to advertisement thereof

(c) Other person who is specified in the applicable cabinet order

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(iii) The term "Electronic Mail Address" means codes, including characters,

numerical characters and marks, for identifying a user of Electronic Mail.

(iv) The term "Fictitious Electronic Mail Address" means an Electronic Mail

Address falling under all of the followings:

(a) An Electronic Mail Address as produced by using a program (referring to

a set of orders to a computer, and orders of which are combined for

obtaining a result) with a function to automatically generate many

Electronic Mail Addresses

(b) An Electronic Mail Address actually not being used by anyone as an

Electronic Mail Address

(v) The term "Electronic Mail Service" means telecommunications service

pertaining to Electronic Mail as provided for in Article 2 item iii) of the

Telecommunications Business Law.

Chapter II Measures for Appropriate Transmission of Specified Electronic

Mail (Article 3 through Article 13)

(Obligation of Labeling)

Article 3 Any sender shall, as specified in the applicable MIC ordinance, upon

transmission of Specified Electronic Mails, make such a Specified Electronic

Mail correctly display the following matters on a screen of a communications

terminal being used by a person who receives said Specified Electronic Mail:

(i) The fact that said mail is a Specified Electronic Mail

(ii) Personal name or legal name and address of said sender

(iii) Electronic Mail Address of said sender for receiving the notification under

the following article

(iv) Other matters specified in the applicable MIC ordinance

(Prohibition of Transmission to Persons Who Refuse to Receive Specified

Electronic Mail)

Article 4 Any sender shall not send Specified Electronic Mails to persons, who

received Specified Electronic Mails from the sender, and who, as specified in

the applicable MIC ordinance, have notified said sender of the request not to

send Specified Electronic Mails (in cases where requesting said sender not to

send Specified Electronic Mails pertaining to given matters, of the request),

against their wish.

(Prohibition of Transmission Using Fictitious Electronic Mail Address)

Article 5 Any sender shall not send Electronic Mails to Fictitious Electronic Mail

Addresses for the purpose of sending many Electronic Mails for their own or

other's sales activities.

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(Prohibition of Transmission under False Sender Information)

Article 6 Any sender shall not send Electronic Mails, as a means of

advertisement for their own or other's sales activities, falsifying the following

information on the sender (hereinafter referred to as "sender information")

among information for sending and/or receiving Electronic Mails:

(i) Electronic Mail Address used for sending said Electronic Mails

(ii) Codes, including characters, numerical characters and marks, for

identifying telecommunications facilities (referring to telecommunications

facilities stipulated in Article 2 item ii) of the Telecommunications Business

Law) for sending said Electronic Mails

(Administrative Order)

Article 7 Where the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications

(hereinafter referred to as "Minister") deems that with respect to transmission

of Electronic Mails, including simultaneous transmission of Specified

Electronic Mails to many persons, a sender does not comply with the provisions

of Article 3 or Article 4, or where the Minister deems that a sender has sent

Electronic Mails to Fictitious Electronic Mail Addresses or Electronic Mails

using false sender information, and when the Minister deems that it is

necessary for preventing the occurrence of disturbances upon transmission and

reception of Electronic Mails, the Minister may order said sender to take

necessary measures for improvement of the methods for Electronic Mail

transmission.

(Petition to the Minister)

Article 8 (1) A person who has received Specified Electronic Mail or Electronic

Mail using false sender information may, when the person finds that Electronic

Mail has been sent in violation of the provisions of Article 3, Article 4 or

Article 6, petition the Minister to take proper measures.

(2) A person who is offering Electronic Mail Services may, when the person finds

that Electronic Mail has been sent to Fictitious Electronic Mail Addresses in

violation of the provisions of Article 5, petition the Minister to take proper

measures.

(3) The Minister shall, when receiving petition pursuant to the provisions of the

preceding two paragraphs, implement necessary investigation, and when he or

she finds necessary based upon results of the investigation, take measures

based upon this Act and the other proper measures.

(Dealing with Complaints, etc.)

Article 9 Any sender of Specified Electronic Mails shall, in good faith, deal with

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complaints, inquiries, etc. on transmission of Specified Electronic Mails by the

sender.

(Information Provision and Technological Development, etc. by

Telecommunications Carriers)

Article 10 (1) Any telecommunications carrier (referring to a telecommunications

carrier stipulated in Article 2 item v) under the Telecommunications Business

Law; hereinafter the same shall apply.) offering Electronic Mail Services shall

endeavor to provide users of said services with information on services that

contribute to prevention of the occurrence of disturbances upon transmission

and reception of Electronic Mails caused by Specified Electronic Mails,

Electronic Mails to be sent to Fictitious Electronic Mail Addresses, or

Electronic Mails using false sender information (hereinafter referred to as

"Specified Electronic Mail, etc.").

(2) Any telecommunications carrier offering Electronic Mail Services shall

endeavor to develop or introduce technologies for contributing to prevention of

the occurrence of disturbances upon transmission and reception caused by

Specified Electronic Mail, etc.

(Refusal of Provision of Telecommunications Services)

Article 11 A telecommunications carrier may, in cases where many Electronic

Mails addressed to fictitious Electronic Mail Addresses have been

simultaneously sent and when it is considered that there is a risk of causing

disturbances in smooth offering of its Electronic Mail Services, or where it is

considered that there is a justifiable reasons to refuse the provision of

Electronic Mail Services for prevention of the occurrence of disturbances upon

transmission and reception of Electronic Mails, refuse to provide a person who

sends Electronic Mails having a risk of causing said disturbances with

Electronic Mail Services to the extent of preventing said disturbances.

(Instruction and Advice to Corporations for Telecommunications Carriers)

Article 12 The Minister shall endeavor to give necessary instructions and

advices for services to a juridical person incorporated pursuant to the

provisions of Article 34 of the Civil Code (Act No. 89 of 1896), which provides

member telecommunications carriers with services, including the provision of

information , contributing to prevention of the occurrence of disturbances upon

transmission and reception of Electronic Mails caused by Specified Electronic

Mails, etc.

(Disclosure of Status of Research and Development, etc.)

Article 13 The Minister shall, at least once a year, disclose the status of research

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and development on technologies for contributing to prevention of the

occurrence of disturbances upon transmission and reception of Electronic Mails

caused by Specified Electronic Mails, etc. and the introduction status of such

technologies by telecommunications carriers providing Electronic Mail

communications services.

Chapter III Registered Agency for Proper Transmission (Article 14 through

Article 27)

(Registration of Registered Agency for Proper Transmission)

Article 14 (1) The Minister may have a person who is registered by the Minister

(hereinafter referred to as the "registered agency for proper transmission")

conduct the following services (hereinafter referred to as the "services for

proper transmission of Specified Electronic Mail, etc."):

(i) To give instructions or advices to a person who intends to file a petition with

the Minister pursuant to the provisions of Article 8 paragraph (1) or

paragraph (2)

(ii) To conduct investigations on facts pertaining to petition in Article 8

paragraph (3), when requested by the Minister

(iii) To collect and provide information or materials concerning Specified

Electronic Mail, etc.

(2) The registration in the preceding paragraph shall be made upon request from

a person who intends to conduct the services for proper transmission of

Specified Electronic Mail, etc.

(Disqualification)

Article 15 Any person who falls under any of the following items shall not be

registered under paragraph (1) of the preceding article

(i) Any person who has been sentenced to a fine of severer punishment for

violation of this Act or an order based upon this Act, if a period of two years

has not elapsed since the day the punishment was completed or the day when

the punishment is no more inflicted.

(ii) Any person whose registration was rescinded pursuant to the provisions of

Article 25, if a period of two years has not elapsed since the day of the

rescission.

(iii) Where the applicant is a juridical person, any of whose officers who

execute its business falls under any of the preceding two items.

(Criterion for Registration)

Article 16 (1) The Minister shall grant registration to any person who has

applied for registration pursuant to the provisions of Article 14 paragraph (2),

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if the applicant for registration complies with all of the following items. In this

case, the procedures necessary for registration shall be specified by the

applicable MIC ordinance.

(i) A person who has graduated from a university, or technical college, provided

for in the School Education Act (Act No. 26 of 1947) as having mastered

subjects concerning telecommunications and has one year or longer of

experience in the business of Electronic Mail communications services, or a

person who has knowledge and experiences equivalent thereto or higher, is

engaged in the services for proper transmission of Specified Electronic Mail,

etc.

(ii) The following measures are taken in order to properly implement the

services for proper transmission of Specified Electronic Mail, etc.:

(a) A full-time administrator is appointed at a unit to implement the services

for proper transmission of Specified Electronic Mail, etc.

(b) Documents are prepared for ensuring management and proper

implementation of the services for proper transmission of Specified

Electronic Mail, etc.

(c) In accordance with the descriptions in the documents under b), a

dedicated unit is set up for ensuring management and proper

implementation of the services for proper transmission of Specified

Electronic Mail, etc.

(2) The registration shall be made by entering the following matters in the

registration book of registered agencies for proper transmission:

(i) Date of registration and registration number

(ii) Name and address of a registered agency for proper transmission and, in

the cases where the person is a juridical person, name of the representative

(iii) Name and address of the office where a registered agency for proper

transmission conducts the services for proper transmission of Specified

Electronic Mail, etc.

(Renewal of Registration)

Article 17 (1) The registration under Article 14 paragraph (1) shall, if it is not

renewed at the registered agency for proper transmission concerned every

three years, cease to be effective by passage of the period.

(2) The provisions of Article 14 paragraphs (2) and the preceding two articles

shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the renewal of registration under the

preceding paragraph.

(Obligation Pertaining to Implementation of Services for Proper Transmission

of Specified Electronic Mail, etc.)

Article 18 Any registered agency for proper transmission shall conduct the

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services for proper transmission of Specified Electronic Mail, etc. fairly

through methods complying with requirements listed in each item of Article 16

paragraph (1) and the standards specified by the applicable MIC ordinance.

(Notification of Changes)

Article 19 Any registered agency for proper transmission shall, when intending

to change matters listed in item ii) or item iii) of Article 16 paragraph (2),

notify the Minister to that effect two weeks prior to the day of said changes.

(Operational Rules and Procedures)

Article 20 (1) Any registered agency for proper transmission shall establish its

operational rules and procedures concerning the services for proper

transmission of Specified Electronic Mail, etc., and shall notify the Minister of

the operational rules and procedures prior to the commencement of the services

for proper transmission of Specified Electronic Mail, etc. The same shall apply

when such rules and procedures are to be revised.

(2) The operational rules and procedures shall specify the methods of carrying

out the services for proper transmission of Specified Electronic Mail, etc. and

other matters specified in the applicable MIC ordinance.

(Suspension and Discontinuation of Service)

Article 21 Any registered agency for proper transmission shall, when intending

to suspend or discontinue the services for proper transmission of Specified

Electronic Mail, etc., notify the Minister to that effect in advance, as specified

in the applicable MIC ordinance.

(Preparation of Financial Statements, etc. and Access, etc. Thereto)

Article 22 (1) Any registered agency for proper transmission shall, within three

months after the end of every business year, prepare an inventory of properties,

a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement or income and expenditure

account statement, and an operating report or a business report (including an

electromagnetic record (any record which is produced by electronic, magnetic,

or any other means unrecognizable by natural perceptive function, and is used

for data-processing by a computer. Hereinafter in this article the same shall

apply.) in cases where electromagnetic records are produced instead of those

paper documents. In the following paragraph and Article 35, referred to as

"financial statements, etc.".) and retain thereof for a five-year period at its

office.

(2) Parties concerned, including a person who received Specified Electronic Mail,

may, whenever within the business hours of a registered agency for proper

transmission, make the following requests. However, when making the request

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of item ii) or item iv), fees set forth by the registered agency for proper

transmission shall be paid.

(i) Where financial statements, etc. are written documents, a request for

inspection of said documents or copy thereof

(ii) A request for certified transcript or extract of the documents under the

preceding item

(iii) Where financial statements, etc. are produced as electromagnetic records,

a request for inspection or copy of matters recorded on said electromagnetic

records which are displayed in a manner stipulated in the applicable MIC

ordinance

(iv) A request for the matters recorded on said electromagnetic records under

the preceding item in an electromagnetic manner stipulated in the applicable

MIC ordinance or a request for delivery of written documents containing said

matters

(Order for Compliance)

Article 23 When the Minister finds that a registered agency for proper

transmission has failed to comply with any of the items in Article 16 paragraph

(1), the Minister may order said registered agency for proper transmission to

take necessary measures for compliance with all such provisions.

(Order to Improve Business Activities)

Article 24 The Minister may, when he or she finds that a registered agency for

proper transmission is violating the provisions of Article 18, order said

registered agency for proper transmission to implement the services for proper

transmission of Specified Electronic Mail, etc. pursuant to the provisions of the

same article or to take necessary measures for improving the methods of the

services for proper transmission of Specified Electronic Mail, etc.

(Rescission, etc. of Registration)

Article 25 The Minister may rescind its registration or order the suspension in

whole or in part of its services for proper transmission of Specified Electronic

Mail, etc. for a specified period, if a registered agency for proper transmission:

(i) Falls under Article 15 item (i) or item (iii)

(ii) Violates the provisions of Article 19 through Article 21, Article 22

paragraph (1) or the following article

(iii) Rejects a request pursuant to the provisions of each item of Article 22

paragraph (2) without justifiable reason

(iv) Violates the order pursuant to the provisions of the preceding two articles

(v) Obtains the registration under Article 14 paragraph (1) by wrongful means

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(Maintenance of Record Book)

Article 26 Any registered agency for proper transmission shall, in accordance

with the applicable MIC ordinance, prepare and maintain a record book, on

which matters specified in the applicable MIC ordinance related to the services

for proper transmission of Specified Electronic Mail, etc. shall be entered.

(Public Notice)

Article 27 The Minister shall, in the following cases, issue a public notice to that

effect in the Official Gazette:

(i) When registering an agency under Article 14 paragraph (1)

(ii) When receiving a notification pursuant to the provisions of Article 19

(iii) When receiving a notification pursuant to the provisions of Article 21

(iv) Pursuant to the provisions of Article 25, when rescinding a registration of

Article 14 paragraph (1), or ordering the suspension of the services for proper

transmission of Specified Electronic Mail, etc.

Chapter IV Miscellaneous Provisions (Article 28 through Article 30)

(Report and On-site Inspection)

Article 28 (1) Within the limit necessary for the enforcement of this Act, the

Minister may order a sender of Specified Electronic Mail, etc. to report on the

state of transmission thereof, or delegate ministerial staff to enter the office of

the sender to inspect articles, including record books and documents.

(2) Within the limit necessary for ensuring proper operations of the services for

proper transmission of Specified Electronic Mail, etc., the Minister may order a

registered agency for proper transmission to report on the state of the services

for proper transmission of Specified Electronic Mail, etc. or assets, or delegate

ministerial staff to enter the office of the registered agency for proper

transmission to inspect the state of the services for proper transmission of

Specified Electronic Mail, etc., or articles, including record books and

documents.

(3) Any ministerial staff who conducts the on-site inspection in accordance with

the provisions of the preceding two paragraphs shall carry an identification

card and show it to persons concerned.

(4) The power of the on-site inspection under the provisions of paragraph (1) or

paragraph (2) shall not be construed as being legitimate for the purpose of

criminal investigations.

(Administrative Work to Be Conducted by Prefectures)

Article 29 As specified in the applicable cabinet order, part of administrative

work under the jurisdiction of the Minister stipulated in this Act may become

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administrative work that shall be conducted by prefectural governors.

(Transitional Measures)

Article 30 When orders be established, amended or abolished in accordance with

the provisions of this Act, necessary transitional measures (including those

concerning the Penal Provisions) may be stipulated in those orders to such

extent as deemed to be reasonably necessary in establishing, amending or

abolishing those orders.

Chapter V Penal Provisions (Article 31 through Article 35)

Article 31 Any person who has violated the order to suspend business operations

in accordance with the provisions of Article 25 shall be punished by

imprisonment with work for a term not exceeding one year or to a fine not

exceeding one million yen, or to both.

Article 32 Any person shall be punished by imprisonment with work for a term

not exceeding one year or to a fine not exceeding one million yen, if he or she:

(i) Has violated the provisions of Article 6

(ii) Has violated the order in accordance with the provisions of Article 7

Article 33 Any person shall be punished by a fine not exceeding three hundred

thousand yen, if he or she:

(i) Has failed to submit a notification or submitted a false notification in

accordance with the provisions of Article 21

(ii) Has failed to make entries or made false entries, or failed to maintain

records in violation of the provisions of Article 26

(iii) Has failed to submit a report in accordance with the provisions of Article

28 paragraph (1) or (2), or submitted a false report, or has refused, hindered

or evaded the inspection in accordance with these provisions

Article 34 When any representative of a juridical person, or any agent, any

employee or other staff of a juridical person or an individual has committed an

act of violation listed in the preceding three articles with regard to the

business of said juridical person or individual, not only the offender shall be

punished but also said juridical person or individual shall be punished by the

fine prescribed in the respective articles.

Article 35 Any person who has failed to retain financial statements, etc., has

failed to enter the matters to be entered in financial statements, etc. or has

made false entries in violation of the provisions of Article 22 paragraph (1), or

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has refused without justifiable reason a request under paragraph (2) of the

same article shall be punished by a non-penal fine not exceeding two hundred

thousand yen.

Supplementary Provisions

(Effective Date)

(1) This Act shall come into force as from the day specified in the applicable

cabinet order within six months calculating from the day of promulgation.

(Review)

(2) The government shall, within three years calculating from the enforcement of

this Act, after taking into account circumstances, including the level of

technologies pertaining to telecommunications, and, considering the progress of

implementation of this Act, take necessary measures based upon the results

thereof.

Supplementary Provisions [Act No. 125 of July 24, 2003] [Extract]

(Effective Date)

Article 1 This Act shall come into force as from the day specified in the

applicable cabinet order within nine months calculating from the day of

promulgation. However, the provisions listed in the following items shall come

into force as from the day specified respectively in those items.

Supplementary Provisions [Act No. 46 of May 20, 2003] [Extract]

(Effective Date)

Article 1 This Act shall come into force as from the day specified in the

applicable cabinet order within six months calculating from the day of

promulgation. However, the provisions in the following article and Article 6 of

the Supplementary Provisions shall come into force as from the day of

promulgation.

(Transitional Measures)

Article 2 A person who wants to be registered under Article 14 paragraph (1) of

the Act on Regulation of Transmission of Specified Electronic Mail (hereinafter

referred to as the "New Act") may, even before the enforcement of this Act,

apply for the registration. The same shall apply to the notification of

administrative rules in accordance with the provisions of Article 14 paragraph

(1) of the New Act.

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Article 3 Any person who is being actually designated upon the enforcement of

this Act under Article 13 paragraph (1) of the Act on Regulation of

Transmission of Specified Electronic Mail before the amendment by this Act

(referred to as the "Old Act" in the following article), until the day when six

months has elapsed calculating from the day of enforcement of this Act, shall

be deemed as being registered under Article 14 paragraph (1) of the New Act.

Article 4 In addition to what is provided for in the preceding article, acts

committed prior to the enforcement of this Act, including disposition and

procedures, based on the provisions of the Former Act (including orders based

on the Former Act), that fall under the provisions in the New Act equivalent to

those in the Former Act, shall be deemed as being acts committed, including

disposition and procedures, based on the provisions of the New Act.

(Transitional Measures Concerning the Penal Provisions)

Article 5 With respect to the application of the Penal Provisions to any act

committed before the enforcement of this Act, the provisions then in force shall

still apply.

(Delegation to Cabinet Orders)

Article 6 In addition to the transitional measures specified under Article 2

through the preceding article of the Supplementary Provisions, other

transitional measures necessary for the enforcement of this Act (including

transitional measures concerning the Penal Provisions) shall be specified in

the applicable cabinet order.

(Review)

Article 7 The government shall, within three years calculating from the day of

enforcement of this Act, after taking into account circumstances, including the

level of technologies pertaining to telecommunications, and, considering the

progress of implementation of this Act, take necessary measures based upon

the results thereof.

Supplementary Provisions [Act No. 87 of July 26, 2005] [Extract]

This Act shall come into force as from the effective date of the Companies Act.

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