The ABCs of Product Safety Re-Regulation in Japan: Asbestos, Buildings, Consumer Electrical Goods, and Schindler's Lifts

Griffith Law Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 242-86, December 2006

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 06/13

46 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2006 Last revised: 20 Oct 2010

See all articles by Luke R. Nottage

Luke R. Nottage

The University of Sydney Law School; The University of Sydney - Australian Network for Japanese Law

Date Written: October 19, 2010

Abstract

Australia is considering a full-scale Free Trade Agreement with Japan. This gives added importance to the trajectory of Japanese product safety regulations, and consumer law more generally. Generally, Japan has been dismantling ex ante regulation while strengthening private liability regimes, especially information disclosure obligations, over its "lost decade" of economic stagnation since the early 1990s. Yet it has also re-regulated more broadly in response to safety concerns, as evidenced by four recent case studies involving asbestos (for the third time), buildings, electrical goods, and elevators manufactured by a market leader world-wide. This makes Japan converge on a broader pattern identified within "global business regulation," and makes it likely that the nation (like Australia) will revamp general consumer product regulation along recently revised European Union lines. Yet Japan's regulatory mix still diverges from that in several other industrialized democracies, particularly in the prominent roles played by criminal prosecutions and the spectre of state liability.

Keywords: Japanese law, Asian law, comparative law, product safety regulation, product liability

JEL Classification: F15, I18, J28, L15, L80

Suggested Citation

Nottage, Luke R., The ABCs of Product Safety Re-Regulation in Japan: Asbestos, Buildings, Consumer Electrical Goods, and Schindler's Lifts (October 19, 2010). Griffith Law Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 242-86, December 2006; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 06/13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=929941

Luke R. Nottage (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

The University of Sydney - Australian Network for Japanese Law

Room 640, Building F10, Eastern Avenue
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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