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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 […]

Japan: Videotaping Questioning of Suspects

(Apr. 2, 2008) It has sometimes been argued in court proceedings that police officers or public prosecutors forced or led certain contents of written declarations of suspects. In Japan, police officers or public prosecutors draft written declarations of suspects while questioning them and suspects sign the declarations. To prove that a suspect voluntarily stated the […]

South Korea: Court Bans Executives from Switching to Rival Company for Certain Period

(Apr. 2, 2008) The Seoul Central District Court banned 13 former executives of Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Company from working for the rival company, STX Heavy Industries Company, for from one to three years. Six of the executives were criminally charged with industrial espionage for divulging classified information they acquired from Doosan in November […]

South Korea: Legalizing Abortion to Be Considered

(Mar. 2, 2008) The South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare drafted a new policy in late 2007 to seek more realistic measures to address the growing number of abortions in the country. These measures include changing the law that restricts abortions with criminal sanctions. The Ministry held a hearing on February 13, 2008. There […]

Japan: Victims to Receive Money Deposited by Criminals

(Mar. 2, 2008) New legislation, the Law Concerning the Distribution in Payments to Victims of Crime-Related Deposits in Financial Institutions, was promulgated in Japan on December 21, 2007. This Law facilitates financial institutions' freezing of accounts in which funds were deposited by victims because of fraud, deception, or coercion. Financial institutions can distribute the money […]

Japan: McDonald’s Manager Not Considered a Manager Under Labor Law

(Mar. 2, 2008) On January 28, 2008, the Tokyo District Court ordered McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan) Ltd. to pay 7.55 million yen (US$70,000) in overtime allowance and "additional pay" to a manager at one of its outlets. The court said that a shop manager of a McDonald's in Saitama Prefecture does not qualify as a […]

South Korea: Plan to Reduce Ocean Dumping

(Mar. 2, 2008) South Korea dumped 2.02 million cubic meters of sewage from livestock farms, 1.71 million cubic meters of leftover food, and 1.61 million cubic meters of urban sewage into the ocean in 2007. Although South Korea ratified the 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter […]