The Changing Role of Law in Japan


The Changing Role of Law in Japan

Empirical Studies in Culture, Society and Policy Making

9781783475643 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Dimitri Vanoverbeke, Professor and Director, Department of East Asian and Arabic Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium, Jeroen Maesschalck, Professor of Criminology, Faculty of Law, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium, David Nelken, Professor of Comparative and Transnational Law, The Dickson Poon School of Law, King''s College London, UK and Stephan Parmentier, Professor of Sociology of Crime, Law, and Human Rights, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium
Publication Date: 2014 ISBN: 978 1 78347 564 3 Extent: 296 pp
The Changing Role of Law in Japan offers a comparative perspective on the changing role of law in East Asia, discussing issues such as society, cultural values, access to the legal system and judicial reform. This innovative book places Japan in the wider context, juxtaposed with Europe, rather than the US, for the first time.

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The Changing Role of Law in Japan offers a comparative perspective on the changing role of law in East Asia, discussing issues such as society, cultural values, access to the legal system and judicial reform. This innovative book places Japan in the wider context, juxtaposed with Europe, rather than the US, for the first time.

Parallel to Japan’s rise to economic prominence on the world scene in the 1960s, law and legal thinking in the country have become the focus for academic research in various respects. One recurring question has been how Japan managed to become one of the most important economic actors in the world, without the legal infrastructure usually associated with complex economic activities. This book addresses many current issues that illustrate important changes in Japanese society and its political and legal systems. The authors investigate fundamental questions about the precise role of law and the courts in Japan, and try to go beyond the classical paradigm that attributes the particularities of Japan to its unique culture or its exceptional position. The various contributions to this book all demonstrate the importance of challenging existing conceptions and revisiting them through meticulous socio-legal and empirical research.

This book will appeal to scholars of sociology of law, international studies and those interested in a transnational approach to the legal framework. Graduate students dealing with law in Asia, intellectual property, patent law and competition law will also find much relevance in this interesting and stimulating book.
Critical Acclaim
‘The role of culture in the operation of Japanese law is one of the great questions of sociolegal studies. Discussions tend to polarize, between a simplistic view of cultural determinism and a more universalist approach that emphasizes institutions. This superb collection, with a diverse and accomplished set of contributors, takes culture seriously. It shows how legal institutions have both shaped and been shaped by Japanese legal culture. A state-of-the art assessment of Japanese law after more than a decade of reforms, this book is a must for anyone interested in understanding legal culture more broadly.’
–Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago Law School, US

‘The Changing Role of Law in Japan is a path-breaking work of comparative legal scholarship, offering a fresh and compelling perspective on the Japanese legal system that makes it essential reading for anyone interested in the role of law in industrialized democracies. The editors present a convincing case for putting a dynamic conception of culture at the heart of comparative legal studies, while simultaneously demonstrating the wisdom of comparing Japanese law and legal institutions to their European rather than their American counterparts. This is a volume that will be read, and debated, for years to come.’
– Eric A. Feldman, University of Pennsylvania Law School, US

‘The Changing Role of Law in Japan is an outstanding collection of articles that investigate how and why the law in action has evolved (and sometimes has been maintained in spite of institutional or social changes) in Japanese society. This volume addresses various topics, including civil litigation, alternative dispute resolution, criminal justice, business and economic law, administrative process, and the legal profession. Furthermore, it comprises 15 articles contributed by legal and sociolegal scholars across the world. These facts serve to indicate that readers will definitely gain new perspectives on the Japanese legal system.’
– Social Science Japan Journal
Contributors: V. Gessner, R. Hamano, E. Herber, A. Hirata, S. Kozuka, J. Maesschalck, T. Mihira, M. Murayama, D. Nelken, I. Ozaki, S. Parmentier, T. Suami, H. Takahashi, S. Vande Walle, D. Vanoverbeke, E. van Zimmeren

1. The Changing Role of Law in Japan: Empirical Studies in Culture, Society and Policy-Making: An Introduction
Dimitri Vanoverbeke, Jeroen Maesschalck, Stephan Parmentier and David Nelken

2. Legal Culture and Social Change
David Nelken

3. State/Society Synergies in Western and Japanese Economic and Judicial Reform
Volkmar Gessner

4. Law, Culture and Society in modernizing Japan
Ichiro Ozaki

5. Reforms of the Judiciary in Japan at the Start of the Twenty-first Century: Initial Assessment of an Ongoing Process
Dimitri Vanoverbeke and Takao Suami

6. Law in a Changing Economy: Law of Trade Credit and Security Interests in Context
Souichiro Kozuka

7. Toward an Understanding of the ‘Japanese’ Way of Dispute Resolution: How is it Different from the West?
Hiroshi Takahashi

8. Between ‘Benevolent Paternalism’ and Genbatsuka: Diversity in Japanese Criminal Justice
Erik Herber

9. Regulatory Enforcement of Environmental Law in Japan: An Analysis of the Implementation of the Water Control Pollution Act
Ayako Hirata

10. Access to Attorneys in Japan and Judicial Reform
Ryo Hamano

11. Institutional Change and Judicial Review in Contemporary Japan
Tsukasa Mihira

12. Law in Japan: Culture, Situation and Behaviour
Masayuki Murayama

13. What Keeps Plaintiffs Away from the Court? An Analysis of Antitrust Litigation in Japan, Europe and the US
Simon Vande Walle

14. Revisiting Japanese Exceptionalism within the Context of ‘Dynamic Patent Governance’: A Comparative Analysis of the Japanese and European Patent System
Esther van Zimmeren

15. Rule of Law and Human Rights in the Context of the EU–Japan Relationship: Are Both the EU and Japan Really Sharing the Same Values?
Takao Suami

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