Movements for Legislation for Electronic Bills of Lading in Japan have been discussed in this column in July 2022. The Working Group for Commercial Law (Bills of Lading, etc.) of Legislative Council of the Ministry of Justice (chaired by Professor Tomotaka Fujita of University of Tokyo) has now released their Interim Draft Concerning the Proposed Revisions of Provisions Concerning Bill of Lading, etc. on 31 March 2023. It is now in the process of inviting public comments, to be submitted on or before 12 May 2023. It is expected that the Working Group will continue deliberations after receipt of public comments and the final Outline Draft may be adopted by the Legislative Council this autumn in an earlier scenario to find its way to legislation thereafter. Mr. Akiyoshi Ikeyama, attorney-at-law of our corporation, is participating in deliberations as a member of the Working Group of Legislative Council.
Please refer to (Japanese link 1) for the Interim Draft and the Supplemental Explanatory Notes thereto, as well as for the public comment procedure, (Japanese link 2) for the meetings minutes of Working Group, and (English link 1, English link 2) for English translations of the Interim Draft and the Appendix to the Supplemental Explanatory Notes, “Comparison Table with MLETR”, both prepared by Mr. Ikeyama. (Ideas behind the Interim Draft are discussed in detail in the Supplemental Explanatory Notes to the Interim Draft separately released by the Ministry of Justice. “Comparison Table with MLETR” constitutes a part of the Notes.) Please also note English translations of the Interim Draft and “Comparison Table with MLETR” are purely his personal work and not related to the Working Group, as well as the Legislative Council or any other public institutions, or the firm or any other organizations or bodies he has relation with or belongs to.