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Japan: Contracts of employment

Original and updating authors: Koki Yanagisawa and Erino Yoneda


  • A number of general statutory principles apply to all employment contracts. For example, the employer and employee must comply with the contract and exercise their rights and perform their obligations in good faith. (See General)
  • Newly recruited employees typically serve a probationary period of three to six months, during which it is easier for their employer to dismiss them on grounds of inadequate performance than it is after the end of the probationary period. (See Probationary periods)
  • The most common type of employment contract is an open-ended contract for full-time work, but fixed-term and part-time contracts are permitted. (See Types of contract)
  • When concluding an employment contract, the employer must provide the employee with clear written details of pay, working hours and other terms and conditions. (See Written statement of terms of employment)
  • In general, unilateral variation of the employment contract by the employer, without the employee's consent, is not permitted, although there are exceptions. (See Variation of contract)
  • Non-competition clauses in employment contracts are enforceable, provided that their scope is reasonable. (See Non-competition clauses)