A long time friend and co-worker asked me about writing for EmailKarma.net and what kinds of information would be good to share, so I thought I’d let him guest post on the recent updates on Japan’s anti-spam laws. Please welcome guest post by Matt Hill, if you like these maybe we can convince him to write regularly…

Here is Post one of three that will appear each day for the remainder of the week.

There has been a huge response to ever changing mode and methodology of how spam affects consumers in Japan. It has grown from an industry of self-regulation in 2001, by mobile operators, to two national laws, which were enacted to combat internet spam in 2005:

1. “The Law Concerning the Proper Transmission of Specified Electronic Mail (the “Anti-Spam Law”).
2. “Law for the Partial Amendment to the Law Concerning Specified Commercial Transactions (the “Revised Transactions Law”).”

Later in 2005, the Japanese government made their first amendments to the Anti-Spam Law, and has now, with their 2008 amendments, made several substantial changes to this Law.

Implications of these new amendments:

Categories of Sending
Under the New Anti-Spam Law, a Sender may only distribute commercial email if the recipient falls into one of the following categories of individuals or groups who have or are:

1. Notified the Sender in advance that they request or agree to receive commercial email.
2. Provided the Sender with their own email addresses.
3. Expecting commercial interaction with Senders:
a. Limited access is granted to individuals and groups have publicly announced their own email addresses for “non-solicitation” or “Non-Profit activities” purposes.
4. Maintained a pre-existing business relationship with the Sender.

Additional Requirements
In addition to requiring opt-in consent; there are four further requirements under the New Anti-Spam Law that Senders are required to:

1. Keep records which prove that the recipients requested the emails.
2. Honour opt-out requests received from individuals.
3. Include certain information in the commercial email sent.
4. Prohibit sending email using programs, which generate email addresses and falsify information about themselves.

Tomorrow Matt will cover the “Penalties for Violating” these laws, then wrap up the week with the ever important information “What this means to Senders”.

Please leave us (Matt H) some feedback.