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The Japan Times Digital Terms of Service

Chapter 1. General

Section 1. Definitions

In The Japan Times digital Terms of Service (hereinafter called the “Terms”), the words and terms listed below shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them as follows.

1. “Company” means The Japan Times, Ltd.
2. “Membership Service” means The Japan Times Membership Services.
3. “TOM,” standing for the terms of membership, means the Terms of Service for The Japan Times Membership Service.
4. “Member” means an individual registered for the Membership Services.
5. “Member Site” means the website accessible to Members only.
6. “News Site” means the website operated by the Company to deliver news and articles (URL:http://www.japantimes.co.jp/).
7. “Services” means The Japan Times digital, which generally refer to fee-based electronic information services provided by the Company through the Member Site, the News Site, or email to make such information accessible through personal computers, tablets, or other portable terminals.
8. “Account ID” means the identification code necessary for a specific Member to receive the Services. The Account ID is an ID registered by the Member when signing up for the Membership Service.
9. “My Account” means a section comprised of web pages provided through the Membership Service which are individualized and made accessible solely to the specific Member.
10. “Personal Authentication Information” means the Account ID and password necessary for receiving the Membership Service or the Services.
11. “Digital Subscriber” means an individual user of the Services.
12. “Applicant” means an individual who wishes to become a Digital Subscriber.
13. “Digital Subscription Package” means any one of the pre-customized patterns for the Services.
14. “Digital Subscription Agreement” means an agreement between the Company and a Digital Subscriber to allow the Digital Subscriber to receive the Services under the designated Digital Subscription Package.
15. “Digital Subscription Fee” means a fee for receiving the Services under the Digital Subscription Package.
16. “Digital Lite Plan” is listed in Exhibit 2 (Lineup of Digital Subscription Packages).
17. “Digital Plan” is listed in Exhibit 2 (Lineup of Digital Subscription Packages).
18. “Initial Sign-up” means signing up for a Digital Lite Plan or Digital Plan for the first time, followed by an effective Digital Subscription Agreement with the Company. Initial Sign-up shall be recognized not for each Account ID, but for each Member.
19. “Plan Change” means a change from a Digital Subscription Agreement with the Digital Lite Plan to a Digital Subscription Agreement with the Digital Plan within any calendar month.
20. “Registered Information” means the information registered by a Digital Subscriber.
21. “Personal Information” means the information concerning Members, Digital Subscribers, and Applicants acquired by the Company which can identify a specific individual.
22. “Privacy Policy” means the Japan Times Online Privacy Policy, which is the Company’s policy on privacy protection.

Section 2. Application of these Terms and Scope of Application

1. These Terms shall apply to all Digital Subscribers and Applicants, as well as to use of any content provided through the Services.
2. Each Digital Subscriber shall be required to have fully acknowledged and agreed to these Terms.
3. Unless otherwise specified in these Terms, or unless inconsistent with the purport of these Terms, matters not specified in these Terms shall be governed by applicable provisions of the TOM, either as they are or with appropriate modifications. If these Terms are inconsistent with the TOM in any respect, these Terms shall prevail.
4. These Terms shall not apply to regular home delivery subscription to “The Japan Times” or “The New York Times” (hereinafter called “Newspaper Subscription”). Newspaper Subscription requires a separate Newspaper Subscription agreement.
5. Special terms and conditions, comprehensive guidance, usage guides, help information, and other rules or instructions separately specified by the Company in relation to the Services (hereinafter collectively called “Special Conditions”) constitute an integral part of these Terms. If these Terms are inconsistent with any Special Conditions, the latter shall prevail.
6. These Terms may be revised from time to time. These Terms as revised shall take effect from the time when they are announced on the Member Site, unless otherwise specifically stated. However, fee revision shall be subject to the conditions stated in Section 4.10.

Chapter 2. Subscription Procedure Section
3.Eligibility for Signing Up for Subscription

1. To receive the Services, registration for the Membership Service shall be required and the sign-up procedure specified by the Company shall be followed.
2. A Digital Subscription Agreement shall come into force between the Company and an Applicant upon acceptance by the Company of the Applicant’s sign-up in the specified form. In this regard, the Applicant shall be deemed to have agreed to the TOM and these Terms upon signing up in the specified form.
3. Digital Subscription Fees shall be paid by credit card. The Services are therefore available solely to those who hold a credit card in their own name which shall be of any type as listed in Exhibit 1 “List of Qualified Credit Cards.”
4. The Company may decline to accept sign-up for digital subscription in any of the cases listed below. If sign-up for digital subscription is not accepted, the reason for non-acceptance will not be disclosed to the Applicant, and this Applicant cannot raise any objection to the Company’s decision of non-acceptance and its consequences.
(1) The Registered Information is incomplete or contains a false statement.
(2) The credit card designated by the Applicant is suspended or otherwise made unavailable for payments by the credit card company, financial institutions, etc., or it is determined difficult for this Applicant to make credit card payments on other grounds.
(3) Accepting such sign-up may be detrimental to the Company’s business or technical operation.
(4) The Company reasonably determines that it is inappropriate to accept such sign-up on other grounds.

Section 4. Digital Subscription Fees and Payments

1. When signing up for the Services, an Applicant may select any Digital Subscription Package from those listed in Exhibit 2 “Lineup of Digital Subscription Packages.”
2. The Digital Subscription Fee for each of the Digital Subscription Packages, offered as available choices for the Services, is specified in Exhibit 2.
3. The Digital Lite Plan and Digital Plan shall be charged on a monthly basis, from 0:00 AM on the first day of each calendar month to 0:00 AM on the first day of the immediately subsequent calendar month, and the Digital Subscription Fee for each month shall become effective at 0:00 AM on the first day of the same month (all based on the Japan Standard Time).
4. Even in the case of signing up under the Digital Lite Plan or Digital Plan within any calendar month, the Digital Subscription Fee for the same month shall be charged on a full-month basis when the Digital Subscription Agreement comes into force, except where the Services are provided free of charge for the month of starting subscription in accordance with these Terms, and adjustment on a daily prorated basis shall not be made.
5. Under the Digital Lite Plan, the Digital Subscription Agreement in effect in the current month shall be automatically renewed for the immediately subsequent month based on the same Digital Subscription Package as applied at the reference time for billing for the current month, unless a request for unsubscription or the Plan Change is uploaded within the current month.
6. Under the Digital Plan, the Digital Subscription Agreement in effect in the current month shall be automatically renewed for the immediately subsequent month based on the same Digital Subscription Package as applied at the reference time for billing for the current month, unless a request for unsubscription is made within the current month.
7. Under the Digital Lite Plan and Digital Plan, the Digital Subscription Fee for the month of the starting subscription and that for the month of the ending subscription shall be charged in accordance with the conditions stated in Exhibit 2 and Section 10.4 of these Terms.
8. Throughout the period of a Digital Subscription Agreement, the applicable Digital Subscription Fee shall be charged at each billing time, regardless of whether the Services are actually used or not thereunder.
9. Under no circumstances shall the Company be obligated to refund any Digital Subscription Fees or other amounts already paid to the Company.
10. If the Company intends to revise the fee schedule for the Services, the Company shall announce the intended revision on the Member Site and notify the Digital Subscribers through the Services (including electronic mail) in advance. Then, the revised fee schedule shall be effective from the month specified by the Company and, from this month, payments shall be processed based on the revised fees.
11. Digital Subscription Fees shall be paid by credit card. Billing dates and other conditions for credit card payments are governed by the rules prescribed by respective credit card companies.
12. Given that the fees for the Services are to be paid by credit card, no billing statement is issued by the Company. The purchase history can be viewed on the My Account page of each Digital Subscriber.

Section 5. Payment Currency

1. The currencies allowed for credit card payments for the Services shall be designated as follows. (1) Japanese yen (2) US dollar
2. Payment for additional services associated with the Digital Lite Plan may not be made in a currency other than the currency denoted when subscribing to the Digital Lite Plan.
3. If the currency for the Digital Subscription Package selected by a Digital Subscriber differs from the official currency of the country or territory where the Digital Subscriber’s credit card in use has been issued, exchange rates actually applied will be stated in billing statements issued by the credit card company or checked with the credit card company.
4. If the initial payment following sign-up is made in a currency other than the official currency of the country or territory where the credit card in use has been issued and such sign-up is subsequently cancelled, foreign exchange gains or losses may arise, depending on the difference between the exchange rate at the time of signing up and the exchange rate at the time of cancellation. In addition, some credit card companies may charge commissions on transactions denominated in foreign currencies, regardless of whether they are processed or subsequently cancelled. Cancellation of transactions by credit card is subject to the rules prescribed by respective credit card companies, which details should be confirmed by each Digital Subscriber directly with the relevant credit card company.

Section 6. Outsourcing of Credit Card Processing Operations

1. The Company outsources credit card processing operations for the Services to Sony Payment Services Inc. (hereinafter called “Sony Payment”). The Company will therefore disclose and provide the information concerning credit cards of respective Digital Subscribers to Sony Payment, i.e., the credit card number, expiry date, and internal identification code which in itself cannot identify the specific individual.
2. Each Applicant acknowledges and agrees that Sony Payment will process payments of Digital Subscription Fees for and on behalf of the Company and that the Company will disclose and provide the information necessary for such processing to Sony Payment.
3. After the necessary information described in Section 6.1 is disclosed and provided to Sony Payment, the Company shall delete the credit card information of the Digital Subscribers including their credit card number and expiry date, which shall no longer be retained by the Company.
4. In the context of processing credit card payments for the Services, a mechanism to automatically renew and update the expiry date of each credit card in use is not adopted.

Section 7. Services

1. The Services are available in the operating environment specified by the Company.
2. To receive the Services, authentication by use of the Personal Authentication Information is required.
3. Digital Subscribers shall at their respective cost and on their own account prepare machine models, devices, facilities, operating systems, networks, telecommunication environment, and other items required for receiving the Services.
4. Access to or use of the Services may be subject to certain restrictions, depending on the conditions of machine models, devices, facilities, operating systems, networks, telecommunication environment, or other items utilized by respective Digital Subscribers.
5. The clock times for renewal, monthly billing, and other processing for each Digital Subscription Package shall be recognized in accordance with the Japan Standard Time.

Chapter 3. Registered Information
Section 8. Confirmation and Change of Registered Information

1. Members and Digital Subscribers can confirm their own Registered Information through their respective My Account pages.
2. If there is any change in the Registered Information, the Digital Subscriber shall promptly edit and update the Registered Information through the My Account pages. The Company shall not in any way be liable for any detriment that may be incurred by the Digital Subscriber because of failure to update the Registered Information.

Section 9. Personal Information

1. The Company shall stringently control and properly handle Personal Information in accordance with the Privacy Policy.
2. Even after unsubscribing or the expiration of the Digital Subscription Agreement, the Personal Information concerning the Digital Subscriber will remain undeleted and be continuously retained by the Company until the Digital Subscriber withdraws from the Membership Service in accordance with the procedures specified by the Company and pursuant to the TOM, in which event such Personal Information shall be handled with adherence to the Privacy Policy.
3. Even after unsubscribing, expiration of the Digital Subscription Agreement, or withdrawal from the Membership Service, the billing history, payment history, or other data concerning the Digital Subscriber which are required to be retained under applicable laws shall be kept in custody by the Company in accordance with relevant laws. In addition, the Company may keep any Personal Information in custody to the extent required for its business operations, in which event such Personal Information shall be handled with adherence to the Privacy Policy.
4. Personal Information may be utilized by the Company solely within the scope of utilization described as follows. In addition, if the Company has obtained prior consent of the person relevant to the Personal Information, the Company may utilize the Personal Information to the extent authorized by such consent.
(1) Provision of the Services and operations relating to the Services (including operations for processing sign-up, unsubscription, confirmation of subscription, notification of renewal or re-signing, billing, payment and settlement, collection, and other related notification or announcement)
(2) Research, questionnaire surveys, and analysis aiming at improvement of service quality
(3) Introduction of goods or services offered by advertisers, sponsors, or other partners for the Services
(4) Introduction of newspapers, books, or other services offered by the Company

Chapter 4. Unsubscribing; Termination
Section 10. Unsubscribing

1. If a Digital Subscriber wishes to cancel the Digital Subscription Agreement, the unsubscribing procedure shall be taken in the manner specified by the Company.
2. On the occasion of Initial Sign-up, no Digital Subscription Fee is charged for the initial month of subscription under a Digital Subscription Agreement with the Digital Lite Plan and Digital Plan. In this case, however, a subscription cannot be cancelled in the initial month and the Digital Subscription Agreement shall be automatically renewed and continued for the second month.
3. If a request is made to cancel a Digital Subscription Agreement with the Digital Lite Plan and Digital Plan in the middle of any calendar month, the Digital Subscription Agreement shall be terminated on the last calendar day of the same month. Therefore, even after a subscription is cancelled in a calendar month, the Services shall remain available until the last day of the same month.
4. Even If a request is made to cancel a Digital Subscription Agreement with the Digital Lite Plan and Digital Plan in the middle of any calendar month, the Digital Subscription Fee for the same month shall be charged on a full-month basis and adjustment on a daily prorated basis shall not be made.
5. If a Digital Subscriber is unable to cancel the Digital Subscription Agreement because of loss of Personal Authentication Information or for any other reason attributable to the Digital Subscriber, the Company shall not be obligated to carry out the cancellation process for this Digital Subscriber.
6. Cancellation of the Digital Subscription Agreement by a Digital Subscriber does not constitute withdrawal of this Digital Subscriber from the Membership Service.
7. The status as a Digital Subscriber is valid solely for the Digital Subscriber him/herself. When the Company becomes aware that a Digital Subscriber has deceased, the unsubscribing procedure shall be carried out in behalf the Digital Subscriber under Section 10.1 of these Terms at the time that the Company became aware of the fact.
8. In no event shall the Company be liable for any damage that may be incurred by any Digital Subscriber due to any actions taken by the Company under Section 10.

Section 11. Termination of Agreement; Unavailability of Services

1. If a Digital Subscriber falls under any of the cases listed below, the Company may, without prior notice, terminate the Digital Subscription Agreement with the Digital Subscriber and make the Services unavailable to the Digital Subscriber.
(1) The Digital Subscriber fails or refuses to pay any Digital Subscription Fee or other obligation on its due date.
(2) The Digital Subscriber’s Registered Information contains false or incorrect information.
(3) The credit card designated by the Digital Subscriber is suspended by the credit card company.
(4) The credit card designated by the Digital Subscriber is disabled.
(5) The Digital Subscriber is forced by the Company to withdraw from the Membership Service.
(6) The Digital Subscriber breaches these Terms.
(7) It is determined by the Company on any other reasonable grounds that the Digital Subscriber should be disqualified.
2. In the context of processing credit card payments for the Services, the means to automatically renew and update the expiry date of each credit card in use is not in use. Due to this, if the expiry date of the credit card being used for payments of Digital Subscription Fees is modified at any time during the period of a Digital Subscription Agreement with the Digital Lite Plan or Digital Plan, the Company’s credit card payment system may determine at the reference time for the next monthly billing that a situation falling under Section 11.1(4) occurs as a result of such modification, which may invoke termination of the Digital Subscription Agreement. If the Digital Subscriber wishes to renew a subscription, the Digital Subscriber shall be required to sign up for a new Digital Subscription Agreement based with a credit card bearing a valid expiry date.
3. The Company will not accept any inquiries or complaints regarding unavailability of the Services imposed on any Digital Subscriber or termination of the Digital Subscription Agreement with any Digital Subscriber.
4. In the event of termination of the Digital Subscription Agreement, the Digital Subscriber shall forfeit the benefit of time and all monetary obligations owed by the Digital Subscriber to the Company (including unpaid fees for the Services) shall be immediately performed in full.
5. If the Company incurs any damage since a Digital Subscriber has breached Section 13 of the TOM or falls under any of the cases listed in Section 11.1 above, the Company shall be entitled to claim compensation for damages against the Digital Subscriber, regardless of whether termination of the Digital Subscription Agreement is invoked or not.
6. In no event shall the Company be liable for any damage incurred by any Digital Subscriber due to unavailability of the Services imposed under Section 11.1 above.

Chapter 5. Suspension and Discontinuation of Services
Section 12. Suspension of the Services

1. The Company may suspend the Services in whole or in part for a certain period of time without advance notification to Digital Subscribers on the occurrence of any of the following events:
(1) Regular or emergency maintenance of information systems. In the case of planned system maintenance, however, suspension of the Services shall be announced to Digital Subscribers in advance.
(2) Natural disaster, power outage, connection troubles or any other event not attributable to the Company.
(3) The Company being unable to provide the Services on any other reasonable grounds.
2. Even in the case where the Services are suspended in whole or in part for a certain period of time pursuant to Section 12.1 above, no Digital Subscribers shall be relieved of the obligation to pay the Digital Subscription Fees for the time the Services have been available.
3. If the Services are suspended in whole or in part for a certain period of time pursuant to Section 12.1 above, the Company may be unable to process sign-up for digital subscription or a request for unsubscription to the Services at any point of time or for any period of time. The Company shall not be liable for any detriment that may be incurred by any Applicant or Digital Subscriber because of the Company’s failure to respond to such signing up or requests.

Section 13. Termination of the Services

1. The Company may terminate the Services in whole or in part upon prior notice to the Digital Subscribers.
2. Each Member hereby acknowledges and agrees that the Company shall have no liability resulting from the termination of the Services in whole or in part so long as the Company has notified the Member under Section 13.1.
Chapter 6. Copyright
Section 14. Copyright
1. The copyright to the Services shall be vested in the Company. The copyright and other rights to articles, images, programs, and other items constituting the Services (hereinafter collectively called “Content”) shall be vested in the Company or duly authorized third parties, as the case may be.
2. Regardless of who holds the copyright to any specific items of Content constituting the Services, the copyright of the layout, design and structure, and the database containing Content shall be vested in the Company.

Chapter 7. Miscellaneous Section 15. Damages

If a Digital Subscriber’s breach of these Terms causes any damage to the Company, the Company may claim compensation for damages against the Digital Subscriber.
Section 16. Governing Law and Jurisdiction
1. These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Japan.
2. Each Digital Subscriber and the Company consent to the exclusive jurisdiction as of the first instance of the Tokyo Summary Court or the Tokyo District Court of Japan with respect to any matter arising between the Digital Subscriber and the Company relating to the Services.

Section 17. Japanese Version to Govern

The original version of these Terms has been prepared in Japanese. In the event of any discrepancy between the English and Japanese versions, the Japanese version will govern.

Exhibit 1: List of Qualified Credit Cards

For payments in Japanese yen
Credit card bearing any of the following marks: VISA, Master, JCB, AMERICAN EXPRESS, and Diners Club
Aeon card
Orico card
UC card
Epos card
JACCS card
Cedyna card
TS Cubic card
UFJcard
Life card
Aplus card
Citi card
Pocket card
UCS card
Rakuten card
For payments in US dollars
VISA
Master

Exhibit 2: Lineup of Digital Subscription Packages

The service descriptions and fees for The Japan Times Digital Subscription Packages are as follows:

■ Digital Lite Plan and Digital Plan (Basic Digital Subscription plans)

Under the Digital Lite Plan, the monthly Digital Subscription Agreement will be renewed automatically every month unless a Digital Subscriber or makes a Plan Change.
Under the Digital Plan, the monthly Digital Subscription Agreement will be renewed automatically every month unless a Digital Subscriber unsubscribes.
The Digital Subscription Agreement is effective on a monthly basis (from the first day to the last day of each calendar month) and is renewed automatically.
The subscriber's credit card will be automatically charged on the first day of each month at 0:00 a.m. (JST).
When subscribing partway through a month, be aware that the full Digital Subscription fee will be charged.
First-time subscribers receive one month free, but may not cancel their subscriptions during the initial month.
In the event of a cancellation request received partway through a month, digital access continues to the end of the month.
Please be aware that in the event a cancellation request is received, there are no refunds for partial months.
It is not possible to subscribe to multiple plans simultaneously.
Plan Fee Type of contract Access to Web content
Digital Plan (¥) ¥3,000/month Automatic renewal Unlimited
Digital Plan ($) $30/month
Digital Lite Plan (¥) ¥900/month 80 articles (*1, *2)
Digital Lite Plan ($) $9/month
*1: Includes the 10 available for free
*2: Access to articles published by K.K. Kyodo News beyond the previous 30 days is limited.
Plan Access
Basic Digital Subscription plans
Digital Plan (¥/$) Unlimited access
Digital Lite Plan (¥/$) 10 Kyodo archive stories (out of 80 stories)
Digital booster packs
80 story digital booster pack (¥/$) 10 Kyodo archive stories (out of 80 stories)
40 story digital booster pack (¥/$) 5 Kyodo archive stories (out of 40 stories)

■ Digital booster packs (¥/$)

Booster packs are available for subscribers to the Digital Lite Plan (¥/$).
Booster packs allow subscribers to extend beyond the initial amount of the Digital Lite Plan.
Booster pack purchases must be made with the same currency as the Digital Lite plan.
There are no refunds or roll-overs in the event the maximum number of articles is not accessed.
There is no limit on how many additional booster packs may be purchased in a month.
Even if the Digital Lite Plan fee is no charged, the subscription to the Digital booster pack shall be at a cost.
Plan Fee Type of contract Access to Web content
80 story digital booster pack (¥) ¥900 Only valid within the month of purchase 80 additional articles
40 story digital booster pack (¥) ¥500 40 additional articles
80 story digital booster pack ($) $9 80 additional articles
40 story digital booster pack ($) $5 40 additional articles

■ Digital Upgrade (Plan Change)

This is an option that can be purchased only during the term of a Digital Subscription Agreement with the Digital Lite Plan.
Under the Basic Digital Subscription Agreement, the Digital Lite Plan (¥) may be changed to the Digital Plan (¥) or the Digital Lite Plan ($) may be changed to the Digital Plan ($) in the middle of any calendar month.
When the procedure for the Plan Change is taken, the Digital Subscription Agreement with the Digital Lite Plan is replaced by a Digital Subscription Agreement with the Digital Plan.
The amount charged for the Plan Change varies depending upon whether a past subscription exists (*3).
The Digital Plan subscription fee will be charged on a monthly basis from the month following the month of the Plan Change.
After the Plan Change is made, cancellation of the Plan Change or a refund will not be granted.
*3:Amount charged for Digital Upgrade (Plan Change)
(1)In the case when the Digital Plan is subscribed to for the first time: No fee will be charged for the Plan Change, but subscription to the Digital Plan shall commence by the month following the month of the Plan Change.
Digital Lite Plan subscription fee for the month of Plan Change (a) Amount charged for Plan Change (b) Basic Digital Subscription plan fee for the month of Plan Change (a) + (b)
Digital Lite Plan (¥) Month of sign-up on occasion of Initial Sign-up ¥0 ¥0 ¥0
Other than above ¥900 ¥900
Digital Lite Plan ($) Month of sign-up on occasion of Initial Sign-up $0 $0 $0
Other than above $9 $9
(2)In the case when the Digital Plan was subscribed to in the past
Digital Lite Plan subscription fee for the month of Plan Change (a) Amount charged for Plan Change (b) Basic Digital Subscription plan fee for the month of Plan Change (a) + (b)
Digital Lite Plan (¥) Month of sign-up on occasion of Initial Sign-up ¥0 ¥3,000 ¥3,000
Other than above ¥900 ¥2,100
Digital Lite Plan ($) Month of sign-up on occasion of Initial Sign-up $0 $30 $30
Other than above $9 $21
(Established on October 16, 2013)
(Revised on April 3, 2014)
(Revised on April 1, 2015)
(Revised on July 1, 2016)

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