Anti-Money Laundering measures to be taken in Japan from March 1

On January 29, 2008, Japanese government officials decided that real estate agencies, credit card companies, jewelry dealers and firms in some other industries will be obliged to take anti-money laundering measures. The new regulation takes effect from March 1, 2008.
In accordance with the anti-money laundering law, the above-mentioned companies will be obliged to confirm customers’ identities, keep transaction records and file reports on suspicious cases. It should be noted that financial institutions are already required to take these measures. Regarding confirming the identities of customers, this is required from the firms in cases of concluding credit card contracts, land and building transactions, the sale of jewelry or precious metal items worth more than 2 million yen. According to an ordinance, records of such transactions must be kept for 7 years.

The following documents will be required to be submitted by individuals for verifying their identities: copies of driver’s licenses, health insurance certificates or residency registration certificates. Corporations will have to present company registration certificates.

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