[Using the Consultation function]

Please refer to the and the .

You are reminded to comply with the relevant rules and regulations to engage in proper transactions where both parties' interests remain unharmed.

Before you start your e-sourcing activities, read the Consultation function guide and comply with the rules. () (

Buyers are expected to respond to applications and offers from suppliers by the expected response date as much as possible.

Buyers and suppliers are respectively banned from using the Consultation function for purposes other than its intended purposes such as collecting company profiles.

Suppliers are advised to carefully read tender notices posted by buyers before submitting an application or proposal based on the capacity and/or past experience of your companies.

  1. Know that buyers have access to the company profile of suppliers in addition to your application details. It is advised that suppliers brush up their company profile page so it aligns with the information provided in application/proposal.
  2. Please refrain from conducts such as randomly repeating applications and proposals that do not match to the contents of tender notices. In a case where the Executive Office receives a complaint from the buyer for such behavior, the Executive Office may take measures such as to suspend the user.

Before you start your e-sourcing activities

You need to be mindful when dealing with a company for the first time, or when the transaction amount rises significantly in the second transaction with the same company.
Kindly consider the following practices that are often taken to minimize trading risks.

  1. If both parties are located nearby, visit the companies in person.
  2. For the first couple of transactions, request the payment to be done in cash upon delivery.
  3. Request a credit search agency for a credit check on the other party.
  4. Do some online research for reference.

It is important that transactions are being done based on mutual trust.

[Quoted from the website of the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency]

-Contract troubles between businesses are to be resolved by the involved parties.

In principle, when an issue arises from the contract between the businesses, the involved parties are to resolve the issue on their own. Therefore, it is crucial that business managers familiarize themselves with legal knowledge such as legal effects of a contract and obligations beforehand, on top of making careful deliberations prior to signing the contract.

-Make a written statement of explanations

If you were to sign a contract solely based on the other party's verbal explanations, in case of an issue the argument would go nowhere - he said, she said. For both parties' clarity and a peace of mind to avoid unnecessary troubles, it is advisable to make a written statement of explanations if possible.

-Premise that businesses are to conclude a contract under their own responsibility.

It is premised that businesses are to conclude a contract under their own responsibility. Therefore, when signing a lease or sales contract, you must not simply believe what the other party verbally tells you. You must carefully deliberate the contents and understand the terms of the contract including the provision for cancelling the contract, before signing the contract at their own discretion and responsibility.

[Legal consultation service for legal issues concerning management of SMEs]

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations operates a nationwide hotline for SMEs to resolve legal issues relative to management of their businesses, also known as the Himawari Helpline.

About the Himawari Helpline>

This is a helpline service provided by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and 52 bar associations across Japan where you can book an appointment with a lawyer over the phone. How to use the service is outlined below.

[Phone number

  1. 0570-001-240
  2. *Please note you will be charged per call.
  3. *PHS and some IP phones cannot dial this number.

[Steps to use the service]

  1. 1. Dial the number and you will be directed to the exclusive teller of the nearest bar association.
  2. 2. Provide the basic information such as your name and contact number.
  3. 3. A lawyer will call you back for booking an appointment.

[Consultation fees]

  1. Except for some Prefectures, the first session (up to 30 mins) is free of charge.