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The dramatic growth of the Japanese economy in the post-war period, and its meltdown in the 1990s, generated major reform recommendations in 2001 from the Justice System Reform Council aimed at greater civic engagement with law. This timely book examines the regulation and design of the Japanese legal system and contributes a legal perspective to the long-standing debate in Japanese Studies: who governs Japan?

Who Rules Japan? explores the extent to which a new Japanese state has emerged from this reform effort — one in which the Japanese people participate more freely in the legal system and have a greater stake in Japan’s future. Expert contributors from across the globe tackle the question of whether Japan is now a judicial state, upturning earlier views of Japan as an administrative state. The book explores well-known reforms, such as lay participation in criminal justice, but also less well-canvassed topics such as industrial relations, dispute resolution, government lawyers, law within popular culture in Japan, and social welfare and the law. The blend of empiricism, policy analysis, theory and doctrine provides a discerning insight into the impact of the law reform initiatives from the Justice System Reform Council.

Legal academics interested in comparative law broadly and Asian law specifically will find this book an indispensable contribution to the literature, offering a unique insight into the changing Japanese legal system. Students and scholars of Japanese Studies, especially the social sciences, will find clarity in this refreshing legal viewpoint of governance in contemporary Japan.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849804103
Publisher: Elgar, Edward Publishing, Inc.
Publication date: 07/17/2014
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author

Edited by Leon Wolff, Associate Professor of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Luke Nottage, Professor of Law, University of Sydney and Kent Anderson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Western Australia, Australia

Table of Contents



1. Introduction: Who Rules Japan?

Leon Wolff, Luke Nottage and Kent Anderson

2. Judging Japan’s New Criminal Trials: Early Returns from 2009

David T. Johnson and Satoru Shinomiya

3. Popular Participation in Labour Law: The New Labour Dispute Resolution Tribunal

Takashi Araki and Leon Wolff

4. In Defence of Japan: Government Lawyers and Judicial System Reforms

Stephen Green and Luke Nottage

5. Administering Welfare in an Ageing Society

Trevor Ryan

6. Reforming Japanese Corrections: Catalysts and Conundrums

Carol Lawson

7. Competition Law in Japan: The Rise of Private Enforcement by Litigious Reformers

Souichirou Kozuka

8. When Japanese Law Goes Pop

Leon Wolff


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