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South Korea: Doctors Can Disclose Gender of an Embryo

(Sept. 5, 2008) The Constitutional Court of South Korea ruled on July 31, 2008, that a Medical Law provision that bans doctors from telling parents the gender of their unborn babies is unconstitutional. The purpose of the provision is to remove gender imbalance and protect the lives of unborn babies by preventing gender-related abortions. Korean […]

Japan: New Insurance Law

(July 2, 2008) The Diet (Japan's Parliament) passed the new Insurance Law on May 30, 2008. The old law was enacted in 1911. At that time, the legislature did not foresee the spread of injury and illness insurance, and so there have not been specific provisions for such insurance. The life insurance part of the […]

Japan: Foreign Ship Navigation Within the Territorial Waters Law

(July 2, 2008) The Diet (Japan's Parliament) passed a new law on June 5, 2008, to regulate foreign ships' navigation within Japan's territorial waters. Japan did not previously have a law to control the movements of suspect foreign ships within its territorial sea, and so Japanese maritime officials could not conduct on-the-spot inspection of suspicious […]

South Korea: New Rule to Sell Old Munitions

(July 2, 2008) The Ministry of National Defense of South Korea has sold to the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Kazakhstan, at an extremely low price, old munitions that had been used for 30 to 40 years, including the F-5A/B Freedom Fighter. The unit price was typically US$100. With the number of countries requesting to purchase the […]

Japan: Acceptance of Indonesian Healthcare Workers Based on Agreement

(June 2, 2008) Japan and Indonesia signed the Agreement for an Economic Partnership (EPA) on August 20, 2007, under which Japan agreed to issue visas and allow resident status for qualified Indonesian nurses and nursing-care workers. The workers will receive Japanese language classes for six months. Then, they will work at hospitals and nursing homes […]

South Korea: Permanent Residence for Investors

(June 2, 2008) The Korean government will ease the rule contained in the Immigration Control Enforcement Decree to give investors permanent resident status. Foreigners will be able to obtain permanent residence status beginning in September 2008 when they invest more than US$500,000 and employ more than five Koreans. (Park Si-soo, More Foreigners to Become Permanent […]

Japan: Controversy over Payment for U.S. Military Bases

(June 2, 2008) The Japanese government has paid a large part of the expenses for U.S. military bases in Japan since 1978. Those expenses include housing, schools, and recreational facilities for U.S. soldiers and base employees, salaries of Japanese employees, utility bills, and expenses to relocate training sites. The opposition party, the Democratic Party of […]

South Korea: Stricter Measures for Those Convicted of Sexual Violence Against Children

(May 2, 2008) Ten- and eight-year-old girls (Hye-jin and Yae-seul) vanished in South Korea on Christmas day in 2007. A suspect was arrested in March 2008. He confessed that he raped and killed the girls. In the same month, a man tried to kidnap a ten-year-old girl from an elevator in her apartment building by […]

Japan: High Court Calls Air Self-Defense Force Activities in Iraq Unconstitutional

(May 2, 2008) Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution renounces war and states: “land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.” The constitutionality of Japan's Self Defense Force (SDF) has been a legal, political, and social issue since the creation of the SDF. Japan has supported the United […]

Japan: Executives Responsible for Damage Caused by Concealing Use of Unauthorized Food Additive

(Apr. 2, 2008) Shareholders of a Japanese company recently sued the company's former president and directors, alleging that they caused damage to the company by concealing the use of an unauthorized food additive for pork buns and continuing to sell the inventory of buns containing the additive. The company was blackmailed by a person who […]