Law in Japan

9780295987316: Hardback
Release Date: 22nd January 2008

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 704

Series Asian Law Series

University of Washington Press

Law in Japan

A Turning Point

Edited by
Daniel H. Foote
Hardback / £54.00

This volume explores major developments in Japanese law over the latter half of the twentieth century and looks ahead to the future. Modeled on the classic work Law in Japan: The Legal Order in a Changing Society (1963), edited by Arthur Taylor von Mehren, it features the work of thirty-five leading legal experts on most of the major fields of Japanese law, with special attention to the increasingly important areas of environmental law, health law, intellectual property, and insolvency. The contributors adopt a variety of theoretical approaches, including legal, economic, historical, and socio-legal.

As Law and Japan: A Turning Point is the only volume to take inventory of the key areas of Japanese law and their development since the 1960s, it will be an important reference tool and starting point for research on the Japanese legal system. Topics addressed include the legal system (with chapters on legal history, the legal profession, the judiciary, the legislative and political process, and legal education); the individual and the state (with chapters on constitutional law, administrative law, criminal justice, environmental law, and health law); and the economy (with chapters on corporate law, contracts, labor and employment law, antimonopoly law, intellectual property, taxation, and insolvency).

Japanese law is in the midst of a watershed period. This book captures the major trends by presenting views on important changes in the field and identifying catalysts for change in the twenty-first century.

Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction and Overview: Japanese Law at a Turning Point / Daniel H. Foote

Part I. The Legal System and the Law's Processes

1. New Knowledge Concerning Japan's Legal System before 1868, Acquired from Japanese Sources by Western Writers since 1963 / Carl Steenstrup

2. Criminal Trials in the Early Meiji Era - with Particular Reference to Ukagai / Shirei System / Nobuhiko Kasumi

3. Law, Culture, and Conflict: Dispute Resolution in Postwar Japan / Eric A. Feldman

4. The Development of an Adversary System in Japanese Civil Procedure / Yasuhei Taniguchi

5. The Japanese Judiciary: Maintaining Integrity, Autonomy, and the Public Trust / John O. Haley

6. The Rise of the Large Japanese Business Law Firm and Its Prospects for the Future / Yasuharu Nagashima and E. Anthony Zaloom

7. The Legislative Dynamic: Evidence from the Deregulation of Financial Services in Japan / Yoshiro Miwa and J. Mark Ramseyer

8. Legal Education / Kahei Rokumoto

Part II. The Individual, the State, and the Law

9. Ongoing Changes in the Infrastructure of a Constitutional System: From "Bureaucracy" to Democracy / Kazuyuki Takahashi

10. The Constitution of Japan: "Pacifism" and Mass Media Freedom / Lawrence W. Beer

11. Development of the Concepts of Transparency and Accountability in Japanese Administrative Law / Katsuya Uga

12. The Politics of Transparency in Japanese Administrative Law / Tom Ginsburg

13. The Development of Criminal Law in Japan since 1961 / Koya Matsuo

14. Globalization and Japanese Criminal Law / Joseph L. Hoffmann

15. Criminal Justice in Japan / David T. Johnson

16. Litigation, Administrative Relief, and Political Settlement for Pollution Victime Compensation: Minamata Mercury Poisoning after Fifty Years / Koichiro Kujikura

17. Medical Error, Deception, Self-Critical Analysis, and Law's Impact: A Comparative Examination / Robert B. Leflar

Part III. The Law and the Economy

18. Reexamining Legal Transplants: The Director's Fiduciary Duty in Japanese Corporate Law / Hideki Kanda and Curtis J. Milhaupt

19. Japan's "Era of Contract" / Takashi Uchida and Veronica L. Taylor

20. From Security to Mobility? Changing Aspects of Japanese Dismissal Law / Ryuichi Yamakawa

21. Concentrated Power: The Paradox of Antitrust in Japan / Harry First and Tadashi Shiraishi

22. The Changing Roles of the Patent Office and the Courts after Fijitsu / TI / Naoki Koizumi and Toshiko Takenaka

23. The Reform of the Japanese Tax System in the Latter Half of the Twentieth Century and into the Twenty-first Century / Hiroshi Kaneko

24. Some Observations on the Japanese Tax System at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century / Christopher H. Hanna

25. Insolvency Law for a New Century: Japan's Revised Framework for Economic Failures / Kent Anderson and Makoto Ito

Appendix A
Dan Fenno Henderson: A Tribute / Daniel H. Foote

Appendix B
Selected Writings of Dan Fenno Henderson / Robert Britt



Daniel H. Foote is professor of law at the University of Tokyo.

Law in Japan distils and juxtaposes the work of some of the leading thinkers in Japanese law. The themes that emerge from this work are universal, making it—- like its 1963 predecessor—- an invaluable comparative resource.

Australian Journal of Asian Law

Thanks to this book, and other recent publications, researchers interested in Japanese law are given the opportunity to learn about it, despite the fact that they are not fluent in Japanese language. This is a wide-scoped, merit-worthy work… They pursue answers in papers and reports written by Japanese scholars in the past, and grant due attention and respect to the reasoning and thoughts consolidated through the generations in order to carry on the strict and trustworthy legal and doctrinal training…. The book has thoroughly accomplished its purpose.

The Journal of Experimental Agriculture

This book represents the most complete examination of modern Japanese law currently in print. Its wide-ranging subject matter makes it an essential book for scholars of Japanese or comparative law . . . . this book deserves a place on the bookshelves of those interested in broadening their understanding of the role of the law in the process of globalization.


This book is destined to become. . . the leading book on Japanese law for some time to come.

Pacific Affairs

Daniel Foote has performed a major service. . . . Foote's present work succeed[s] in identifying key issues in most major areas of contemporary Japanese law, and it succinctly offers enough detail for novice and experienced readers alike to begin to assess the author's views on continuity versus change.

Journal of Japanese Law

Simply a 'must-have' for every library with a serious collection of Western literature on Japanese law.

Journal of Japanese Studies