This is one of a number of brief posts summarising recent 2010 Japanese tax treaty developments.
On 14 June 2010 the revised protocol to the Singapore Japan tax treaty became effective. The protocol, which can be found here, revises only Article 26 of the existing Singapore Japan treaty in clarifying mutual obligations around information exchange between the Singaporean and Japanese tax authorities. In particular it outlines the scope of information that can be exchanged, obligations around confidentiality for the information obtained and the relationship of the treaty with domestic law. The tax authorities agree to mutually obtain information even if not required for domestic tax purposes and also note that information should not be withheld solely because it is held by financial institutions in a fiduciary or agency capacity.
Japan announced as part of its tax reform efforts in 2010 its intent to enhance its information exchange procedures and clearly the revised terms of the protocol are consistent with that intention. A post with a listing of Japanese tax treaties in English can be found here.