Japan e-Business Assc. Blames Court For Rejecting Online Drag Sales

Online drag retailers Kenko.com in Tokyo and Wellnet[J] in Yokohama have sued Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for seeking to lift the ban on online drag sales, and Tokyo District Court[J] dismissed the suit on Tuesday.   Japan e-Business Association[J], consisting of e-commerce giants such as Rakuten and Yahoo Japan, announced a comment blaming the court for the judgment today.

Mr. Genri Goto, Kenko.com CEO made a press briefing and declared the intention that they would take the appeal to a higher court.

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January 2010 Japan-IT Links (part 1)

Last week our RSS subscribers passed over 5,000, which is a good milestone. Twitter followers also increased to 400. Following @asiajin also will notify our latest articles. Thank you so much.

Here is the first half of January Japanese IT/Web interesting news links we did not take as a dedicated article. (part 2 is here)

Referred pages are all in Japanese, unless otherwise noted.

If you want to know any specific news more, but unable to find them in other English blog/media, please let us know.

As you see, we know a lot things to write but contributors time are limited. So we are looking for authors. We will help Japanese research/reading part so do not worry if your Japanese is not perfect.

We also want sponsorship to keep this group blog. Ideal if from Japanese companies because our initial motivation was to introduce them to non-Japanese web. Problem is we only write in English and they do not check English sites 🙂 If you know them please suggest us to them!

Japanese Online Drug Retailer Forced To Go Abroad To Serve Japanese Customers

Logo of Kenko.com Singapore

One of Japan’s largest online drug retailers Kenko.com[J] announced it had launched a subsidiary[J] last September in Singapore, which is intended for avoiding the possible violation of the new law banning online drug sales and for serving the company’s customers by the personal import scheme. (Refer to this Akky’s story and that Shun-ichi’s story for more about the ban.)   Users can purchase non-prescription Japanese drugs on Kenko.com Singapore’s website and receive them via international courier service. The subsidiary’s service is intended for Japanese residents for the time being, and Japanese communities outside Japan and the other Asian countries are also targeted as the company’s potential online retail market.

Some 2,500 items are available on the website, your drugs will need around one week to reach you after placing an order. An order worth less than USD89 (JPY8,000) requires a USD7.22 (JPY650) S&H charge.

Kenko.com CEO Genri Goto says, bringing OTC(over the counter) drugs to Japanese customers from outside Japan is NOT regarded as violating the new pharmaceutical affair law banning online drug sales according to Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The company expects to serve in English and Chinese as well as Japanese, and to be the largest online drug retailer in the Asian region.

Due to the new law effective last June in the country, specifically elderly people living in rural areas or on isolated islands have difficulty in getting supplements and drugs via mail order, and a number of long-standing and small-sized traditional drug manufacturers are facing hard times to survive.

Kenko.com and Wellnet Sues Japanese Government around Drug e-Commerce Ban

kenko-com-logo

wellnet-logo1

Today, two online pharmacy stores Kenko.com and Wellnet had a press conference to announce that they had filed a lawsuit against Japanese government. They claims that the ban of online and postal drug sale, which is going to be effective from June 1st, is against the constitution.

After we reported Rakuten, Kenko.com and others claimed the flaw of the new regulations last November, there has been several meetings held by Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) with the parties concerned. The biggest e-commerce mall Rakuten and its CEO Hiroshi Mikitani also attended the meetings and was adopting a stern posture, with one-million online signature gathering. MHLW solicited comments from the public last month and got 85% of disapprove, but MHLW answered “The purpose of asking public comments is to know an ideas we might have overlooked, not for numbers.” [J]

The act itself has no statements that the online/postal drug sales should be banned, but MHLW’s “ordinance of the ministry” was brought up at the very last moment of the discussion meetings to make online/postal be dangerous from consumer protection standpoint, whilst selling in person at drug stores have no risk even the shopkeeper is a part-time, no-licensed person and the buyer is not an identified user.

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MiAU’s public comments for MHLW’s ordinance of the ministry (MiAU – Movements for the Internet Active Users) [J]