This law aims to contribute to the public interest by promoting the sound development of specified nonprofit activities as voluntary activities, such as volunteer activities, performed by citizens to contribute to society through the incorporation of organizations that conduct these specified nonprofit of activities.
B. In this law, the term "specified nonprofit corporation" refers to any organization that has as its main objective the performance of nonprofit activities, that satisfies both of the following criteria (Chapter 1 II.B.1 and II.B.2), and that is incorporated in accordance with the provisions of this law.
1. Organizations that fulfill both of the following criteria and do not aim to make a profit.
a) Organizations that do not attach unreasonable provisions to gaining or losing membership status. b) Organizations at which one-third or fewer of all officers receive remuneration.
2. Organizations whose activities meet the following conditions
Chapter 2. Specified Nonprofit Corporations
A. Specified nonprofit corporations shall not conduct their activities with the purpose of making a profit for a certain individual, corporation, or other organization. B. Specified nonprofit corporations shall not use their activities to benefit a certain political party.
II. Profit-Making Projects
Specified nonprofit corporations may engage in profit-making projects provided that the profits are used for activities related to the specified nonprofit activities and such profit-making projects do not interfere with the nonprofit activities.
III. Competent Authority
A. The prefectural governor shall serve as the competent authority for those specified nonprofit corporations that establish office(s) in the prefecture. The national government shall commission the prefectures to perform the above competent authority work.
B. The Minister of the Economic Planning Agency shall serve as the competent authority for those corporations with offices in two or more prefectures, regardless of Paragraph A above. This competent authority work shall be performed by the national government.
Section 2 Incorporation
I. Certification of Incorporation
A. Those who want to establish a corporation that conducts specified nonprofit activities must receive certification of incorporation by submitting to the appropriate competent authority an application with the following documents attached in accordance with prefectural ordinances and ordinances of the Prime Minister's Office based on this law.
II. Criteria for Certification
A. Unless there is a legitimate reason not to do so, the competent authority shall certify within four months of receipt of application the incorporation of those organizations deemed to fulfill the following requirements.
B. If the competent authority deems that the organization should not be granted certification, the competent authority must quickly notify the applicantin writing of the fact that certification will not be awarded and of the reasons for the refusal of certification.
Section 3 Administration
I. Officer Disqualifications
Persons who have been sentenced under the Law Concerning Prevention of Unjust Acts by Gangsters or other legislature within the last two years shall not be permitted to become officers of specified nonprofit corporations. Other usual reasons for disqualification, including adjudgement of incompetence or quasi-incompetence, shall also apply.
II. Accounting Principles
Specified nonprofit corporations shall perform their accounting in accordance with the following principles in addition to other stipulations in this law.
A. Revenues and expenditures must be based on a budget.
B. Account books shall be kept properly in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
C. Lists of assets, balance sheets, and statements of revenues and expenditures shall clearly and accurately state revenues and expenditures and the financial situation of the corporation based on the account books.
D. The same accounting principles and practices shall be applied each year and shall not be changed without permission.
III. Public Disclosure of Activities Reports
A. Within the first three months of each year (fiscal year, if such a year has been established), specified nonprofit corporations shall prepare the following document about the previous year: (1) an activities report, (2) minrentory of assets, (3) a balance sheet, (4) a statement of revenues and expenditures, (5) a list of officers, (6) a document stating the names of all of those officers on the list of officers that received remuneration, and (7) a document stating the names and addresses of ten or more members. These documents must be kept at the main office of said cooperation until the last day of the year two years after the year the documents are prepared. Specified nonprofit corporations shall make these documents as well as the articles of incorporation and copies of documents related to the certification and the register of the articles of incorporation available for perusal by interested parties.
B. Specified nonprofit corporations shall submit the documents in A. above to the competent authority once a year, and the competent authority shall make them available for perusal by the public.
Section 4 Dissolution and Merger
I.Assignation of Residual Property
The residual property of dissolved specified nonprofit corporations shall be assigned to the persons to whom they are to be reverted under the stipulation in the articles of incorporation. If there are no such stipulations in the articles of incorporation, the liquidator may assign the property to the national or local government with the approval of the competent authority. II. Other Other provisions related to dissolution and merger shall be formulated as necessary.
Section 5 Supervision
I. Reports and Inspections
A. If a competent authority has sufficient reason to suspect that a specified nonprofit corporation has violated the law or other regulation, the competent authority may ask the specified nonprofit corporation to submit a report, and the competent authority may perform an on-the-spot inspection of the offices and other facilities of the corporation and inspect the activities of the corporation.
B. When a competent authority conducts an inspection, the competent authority shall show the officers and others of said specified nonprofit corporation a written statement indicating the sufficient reason for the inspection and hand said document over to the officers and others of said corporation if asked to do so by the officers or other of the corporation.
II. Improvement Order
If a competent authority deems that a specified nonprofit corporation (1) no longer meets the requirements in Chapter 2, Section 2 II.A.2, 3, and 4, (2) has violated Japanese law, an administrative disposition issued by an administrative office based on Japanese law, or their articles of incorporation, or (3) is operating in a markedly improper fashion, the competent authority may order said corporation to take the necessary measures to rectify the problem within a period specified by the competent authority.
III. Revocation of Certification of Incorporation
A. A competent authority may revoke the certification of incorporation of a specified nonprofit corporation (1) if the corporation violates the above improvement order and the competent authority is unable to achieve its objective of supervision thought other methods or (2) if the specified nonprofit corporation does not submit documents (Chapter 2, Section 3 III.B), including an activities report, to the competent authority for three years or more.
B. If a specified nonprofit corporation has violated laws and ordinances and it is clear that improvement cannot be expected through the above improvement order, and moreover, the objective of supervision cannot be achieved through other methods, the competent authority may revoke the certification of incorporation of said corporation even if no improvement order (Chapter 2, Section 5 II) has been issued.
Section 6 Miscellaneous Provisions
I. Provision of Information
A. The Minister of the Economic Planning Agency shall provide copies of the documents (Chapter 2, Section 3 III.B), including activities reports, receivedfrom specified nonprofit corporations under the director-general's jurisdiction to the governors of the prefectures in which the offices of said corporations are located.
B. In accordance with ordinance provisions, the prefectural governors may make available for perusal by the public copies of the documents received in accordance with A. above.
II. Implementation Provisions
In addition to the stipulations in this chapter, procedures and other detailed regulations necessary for implementation of the regulations in this chapter shall be provided in ordinances from the Prime Minister's Office (EPA) and the prefectures.
Chapter 3. Special Treatment under the Tax Law
Chapter 4. Penal Provisions
I. Enforcement Date
This law shall go into effect on the day stipulated by government ordinance and within one year from the day of promulgation.
II. Review of System
The system for specified nonprofit corporations shall be reviewed within three years from the day this law goes into effect, and necessary measures shall be formulated based on the results of the review.
Attachment (See Chapter 1 II.A.)