Considering a work stint in Japan? You'd better make it short, and you'd better stay alive.

That's because the government subjects long-term foreign residents to inheritance tax of up to 55 percent on their worldwide assets — meaning heirs could be forced to give up their family homes or businesses even if they've never set foot in Japan.

Now, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike is trying to ease the impact of the rule as part of her bid to make the city a global financial hub. Her government released a report last Friday urging for the rule to be reviewed, together with other measures aimed at attracting asset managers to the Japanese capital instead of rival centers such as Hong Kong and Singapore.