Manual Japanese Business Law and the Legal System.

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American corporate counsel who is about to begin work on a problem involving Japanese law and the Japanese legal system. The article is not intended to.
Table of contents

Asian and Pacific Law: Japan

E-Gov is a portal website of government information administered by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Accumulated Government documents can be searched on the site of the Government Printing Office. As one of the objectives of the Justice System Reform in Japan, English translations of Japanese laws have become more available since , although the definitive version of Japanese law is in the Japanese text, and there are no official English translations of Japanese laws.

Except for Supreme Court cases, judgments are reported at a small percentage, and an unreported judgment can be obtained by requesting a copy in person at the record office of each court.

Lower court decisions of intellectual property cases and labor law cases have been available since July The case naming method is different in Japan. There is no actual case name system. The name of the court and date of the judgment are generally used to search a case. Names of Corporations may be used for the title of the case name. Official case reports in Japanese language from the Supreme Court and other lower courts in the last three months, as well as case reports from the Intellectual Property High Court in the last one month are also found at the Saikin no Saibanrei Website for recent judgment reports.

Several court report journals are published.

Japanese business law and the legal system /Elliott J. Hahn. – National Library

Each issue has case interpretation and analysis, the essential elements of the court decisions, and comments. The commercial databases have played a vital role in Japanese case law research because cases are not fully published. In addition to Westlaw Japan and LexisNexisJP , there are three more full text databases with different functionalities.

The text of t hese databases is in Japanese language. There is an English version of the citation form published by the University of Washington in entitled Form of Citation of Japanese Legal Materials. Another important resource is the scheme for Romanization.

Business Contract

The Library of Congress has a list of Romanization. Also, the Japanese era names and conversion website will be a useful tool. Because of scholarly electronic publishing initiatives in Japan, many universities make their law reviews accessible through their academic institutional repository program. Institutional repositories such as JAIRO are reaping both short term and ongoing benefits for universities and legal scholars around the world. Articles in law reviews digitized in their institutional repository on the Web are searchable through Google Scholar and there is a link to the CiNii Articles website.

Asahi Shinbun has also had a full-text commercial database for their news since The legal blogosphere in the United States has been active for quite some time; however, law-related blogs are a relatively new media for reporting Japanese legal news. Japanese Law Blog garners current news and information about Japanese law.

Blogs have become an increasingly popular and powerful resource for finding Japanese law-related information, Global Legal Monitor Japan.

Legislation and Case Law Resources - General

Numerous publishers produce law books including treatises, dictionaries, and journals in Japan. Some legal publishers have started to provide their book catalogs online. Some publishers in Japan distribute CDs containing cases that have been published in print case reports, and they also support online databases similar to Westlaw and LexisNexis. The body of private law, Civil Code Law No.

The code was heavily influenced by the French and German Civil Codes. After the American occupation in , the Code remained unchanged except for the sections of the fifth family law and the six inheritance law , which had followed Japanese feudalism traditions. Although the postwar modifications revised the CCP in an Anglo-American style to introduce the adversary principle at the oral argument stage and to confirm the principle of the rule of law and constitutional safeguards for fundamental human rights, the basic structure remained in effect until In , a new code was lay down and several amendments were made since then.


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The most important revision was in pursuant to the principles of the new postwar Constitution, which fully guarantees fundamental human rights. The Code of Criminal Procedure, Chizaiho , was legislated in A new Code of Criminal Procedure modeled on German law was enacted in During the post-War legal reform under the American occupation, the present Code of Criminal Procedure was enacted in to reflect the growing influence of the Anglo-American legal system. Therefore the criminal justice of Japan adopted a mixture of characteristics of the continental European legal system in Penal Code and an Anglo-American style in Code of Criminal Procedure.

In order to reinforce the Japanese judicial system, a bill was enacted in to reinstitute a qusai-juri saiban-in system. Japan had a jury trial law since until The Code of Criminal Procedure was revised and the jury trial came in to effect in Japanese civil law normalizes any contracts that are not complied with public policy to be invalid. In May , the Consumer Protection Fundamental Act was legislated as the basic framework for consumer policies and was amended in May Based on various measures to secure legal protections, the Consumer Protection Fundamental Act was renamed and enacted as the Consumer Basic Act in May Aftermath of the collapsed Bubble Economy in Japan, some general civil rules for relations between consumers and business ventures were launched in the s and onward to meet the challenges of the globalized market by implementing deregulation for a market-driven and consumer-oriented marketplace economy.

It defines the key terms of product, defect and manufacturer.

Legal Resources by Subject

The lack of inherent information and power imbalances in markets justify government intervention for greater transparency about the goods and services, promotion of competitive markets, prevention of fraud, education of customers, and elimination of unfair practices. In order to enhance the effectiveness of such legal regulation, it cannot avoid combining legal polices to stabilize and promote the consumers-enterprises relationship. Due to the expansion of the globalised market and the growth of internet transactions, consumer related troubles have rapidly increased.

The Consumer Policy Committee of the Quality-of-life Policy Council made recommendations in April to establish new consumer policies for the 21st century and to ensure consumer rights to provide necessary information for safety of products. The recommendation included the effectiveness of polices and the basic direction and measurement to rationalize contracts with consumers. Both the Civil Law concepts and the more recent Common Law influences are all effected by traditional Japanese values. Haley Modern Japanese Law The modern Japanese legal system is based on the civil law system, following the model of 19 th Century European legal systems, especially the legal codes of Germany and France.

Japan adopts a three-tiered judicial system and a summary, family, or district court will be the court of first instance depending on the nature of the matter. The Japanese Attorney System - The Attorney Act defines the mission of attorneys as "protecting fundamental human rights and ensuring social justice" Article 1. Attorneys have a mission to protect the fundamental human rights of the people and to work for social justice in the courtroom and in all of the legal services they provide.


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