Japan May Fine Twitter, Meta, Google Over Domestic Registration

The Japanese government is set to levy fines against 48 tech companies including Twitter, Facebook- owner Meta Platforms and Alphabet Inc’s Google for failing to register their headquarters in the country, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Monday.

In early June, the Ministry of Justice reiterated its request that some companies register their global headquarters in Japan by June 13. The ministry said that it would ask courts to fine the companies if they still have no intention of registering.

If IT companies have their headquarters registered in Japan, consumers would have an easier time filing lawsuits when problems, such as defamation on social media websites, occur. The government believes proper registration is essential to protect consumers.

Japan’s corporate code requires overseas companies doing business in the country on a continuous basis to register a headquarters in Japan. Overseas IT companies maintain that they are providing their services through the internet and are not continuously developing their business by establishing bases in Japan. These companies also appear to have insisted they believe it is enough to register their Japan-based units, such as those handling marketing operations.

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