Needless to say, sports play an important role in improving the quality of people's lives in modern society. In Japan, the sports industry is attracting a lot of attention as the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo is drawing near.

Sports practices are constantly changing. In the world of sports in the past, there was a tendency to rely on traditional or customary practices; however, since the establishment of the Japan Sports Arbitration Agency (JSAA) in 2003, which introduced the sports arbitration system in Japan, a body of decisions in arbitration cases and court cases has been accumulating and developing. These decisions greatly influence current and future sports practices.

In addition, with the enactment of the Basic Act on Sports in 2011, legal compliance as well as contractual rights and obligations are now being recognized as vital issues in the sports world, too. Sports legal issues will increase as this industry grows and becomes more globalized.

Our firm has a vast experience in handling sports legal issues, and can provide services such as documentation and negotiation for sports contracts, including representing athletes in contractual negotiations, as well as legal advice on the governance of sports associations, intellectual property rights arising from sports activities, sports accidents, antitrust issues in the sports industry and labor issues concerning athletes. We can also assist in the resolution of sports disputes (e.g., arbitration, mediation or conciliation), and conduct investigations and render opinions for post-game procedures as members of an independent committee organized by the JSAA (e.g., advising parties to a dispute on a referee's decision in a game).

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