Law in Japan

Program Subject

The program consists of classes and field-trips. Each class will be a lecture with an interactive question-and-answer session. A number of important contemporary issues for discussion will be presented.
Since many major legal institutions are located near our university, field-trips will provide excellent opportunities for participants to understand how law is practiced in Japan. We plan on visiting local courts in Tokyo to observe how civil and criminal trials are conducted, and also visiting a law firm, a company legal division, the Supreme Court, the National Diet and the House of Representatives Legislative Bureau etc. 
Business Law and Practice
A private enterprise is the main vehicle of business and also the driving force of Japan’s economy. This class will show an outline of the organization of a private company in Japan and also analyze the function of law and lawyers in business.

Civil Justice
This class will provide an overview of Japanese civil dispute resolution mechanisms including court proceedings and dispute resolution out of the court. Participants will learn legal, social, and cultural aspects of Japanese civil dispute resolution.

Competition Law
The Japanese Anti-Monopoly Act 1947 regulates the business activities of corporations by prohibiting certain kinds of trades. This class will show an outline of the law and its characteristics and also analyze the recent changes brought about after 1990s.

Constitutional Law
The purpose of this class is to give a new perspective to see the Japanese society by learning the history and characteristics of the Japanese Constitutional law. This class will focus on the institutions of government, human rights and equality.

Criminal Law 

Japanese criminal law defines “crime” in a highly theoretical way. The Penal Code is comprised of a list of basic elements of crimes with several exemptions based on principles of legality and culpability. Criminal legal theory will be examined by reference to actual cases and examples.

Family Law
This class seeks to provide an outline of Japanese family law by illustrating some unique features of the laws concerning family matters including historical background of the traditional family law, the structure of current law, and the family court system.

Intellectual Property Law
What is Japan best known for? Manga? Anime? Technology? This lecture is designed to give participants an overview of Japanese intellectual property law by focusing on the current copyright law and patent law. The relationship between culture and intellectual property law will form an integral part of this lecture.

International Law
This class will examine how international rules are implemented through domestic law and institutions in Japan. Some up-to-date topics such as territorial and maritime disputes, free trade agreements and terrorism will be focused.

Judicial System
This class will be an introduction to Japanese legal system. At a mock trial classroom, the features of Japanese law and its judicial system will be discussed from historical and social perspectives.

Labor Law
Japanese employment relations are no longer characterized by the three well-known principles of lifetime employment, seniority and enterprise labor unions. This class will show labor and employment law in Japan and discover the contemporary features of employment in Japan.

Law and Information Technologies
Information technologies have a great impact on our society and law. Many legal problems like SPAM and ID theft arise from information technologies. In Japan, there are many laws designed to address these issues. This class will provide an overview of Japanese information law.

Legal Profession
The Japanese legal profession developed as a divided profession: besides judge, public prosecutor and attorney-at-law, judicial scrivener lawyer, patent attorney, tax accountant etc. are playing an important role. This class will give an overview of the history and contemporary practice of the Japanese legal profession.

Prison System in Japn

This class intends to outline the main features of the prison system in Japan by examining the current state of the system together with its underlying principles. The recent developments such as the use of private companies to manage prisons are also discussed.

Tax Law
This class will provide an overview of Japanese tax law including the basic structure of the personal/corporate income and the VAT taxation. Participants will study how non-residents are subject to tax in Japan, if they live and work in this country.

Field Trips
We plan on visiting the most important legal institutions, including the Supreme Court, Tokyo District Court, Tokyo Summary Court, a law firm, a company legal division etc. Participants will learn how the law is actually practiced through observation. We will also visit the National Diet and the House of Representatives Legislation Bureau to learn how legislation is made.