Japan's plea bargaining system

A new plea bargaining system – offering reduced penalties to companies that report certain violations and cooperate with government investigations – will come into effect in Japan this June, reflecting an amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure passed in May 2016.

This new system (the 2018 Revised System) will allow companies to negotiate reduced criminal sentences in exchange for providing information regarding third parties suspected of or charged with particular offences – including bribery, fraud, and embezzlement.

The implementation of the 2018 Revised System represents Japan's increased efforts in investigating and enforcing white collar crime and stands to substantially change the way companies operating in Japan enhance their compliance programmes and engage with Japanese government authorities.

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