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The Judiciary and Dispute Resolution in Japan: A Survey

31 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2014  

Harold See

Belmont University - College of Law

Date Written: 1982


An overly brief and misleadingly simple history of the evolution of Japanese legal institutions would begin with the proposition that a century and a quarter ago Japan was a feudal society. By "opening" to the West, Japan was forced to "modernize" (Westernize) its laws. As a code system is easier than a common law system to impose wholesale on a society, the continental European civil law countries served as a model for Japan, which patterned its codes primarily on the civil code of Germany and the criminal code of France. After defeat in the Second World War and subsequent occupation by United States forces, both an independent judiciary and an adversary system were superimposed on Japan's code system. This article surveys the changes in the Japanese judiciary in their social context.

Keywords: Japanese Legal Institutions, Japanese Judiciary, Japan, Dispute Resolution

Suggested Citation

See, Harold, The Judiciary and Dispute Resolution in Japan: A Survey (1982). Florida State University Law Review, 10 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 339 (1982). Available at SSRN:

Harold See (Contact Author)

Belmont University - College of Law ( email )

1900 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37212
United States

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