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Japan: Supreme Court Ruling on Liability of Kin of Elderly with Dementia

(Apr. 26, 2016) On March 1, 2016, Japan’s Supreme Court ruled on the liability of the family of a dementia sufferer who was struck and killed by a train to pay damages to the Central Japan Railway Company.  (2014(Ju)1434 (S. Ct., 3rd petty bench, Mar. 1, 2016), COURTS IN JAPAN (click pdf icon to view) (in […]

Japan: Baseball Player Arrested After Two Bullets Found in Bag

(Apr. 4, 2016) Former Major League Baseball player Yamaico Navarro, who currently plays for Japan’s Lotte Marines, was arrested on February 21, 2016, at an airport in Japan for possession of two bullets in his luggage. The bullets were discovered in his shoulder bag during a security check at the airport in Okinawa. (Yamaico Navarro […]

South Korea: Five-Year Mental Health Plan Aimed at Reducing Suicides Adopted

(Mar. 9, 2016) The Korean government adopted a five-year plan of comprehensive measures on mental illness, covering the years 2016-2021.  The plan promotes early detection of mental illness and obligates the government to reduce co-pays for mental health care.  The government also plans to develop a campaign to reduce prejudice against mentally ill people.  (Serving […]

Japan: New Instructions Allow Women to Remarry 100 Days After Divorce

(Feb. 26, 2016) Currently, article 733 of Japan’s Civil Code states that women cannot remarry until six months after a divorce. (Civil Code (Part IV and Part V) (tentative translation), Act No. 89 of 1896, art. 733, Japanese Law Translation website.) This provision aims to avoid uncertainty regarding the identity of the legally presumed father […]

South Korea: First Court Order to Return Children to Another Country Under the Hague Convention

(Feb. 23, 2016) On February 15, 2016, the Seoul Family Court ordered a Korean father to return his two children to his wife in Japan.  (Hyun-jeong Lee, Court Orders Korean Dad to Return Children to Separated Japanese Wife, KOREA HERALD (Feb. 15, 2016).)  It is the first case in Korea in which a court ordered […]

South Korea: Controversial Court Decision on Academic Freedom

(Jan. 15, 2016) The Seoul Eastern District Court, on January 13, 2016, ruled in favor of plaintiffs who filed a defamation suit against Park Yu-ha, a professor of Seoul’s Sejong University. Park published a book entitled Comfort Women of the Empire in June 2014.  The plaintiffs are former comfort women/sex slaves from the World War […]

Japan: Supreme Court States Family Name System Constitutional

(Jan. 8, 2016) On December 16, 2015, the Japanese Supreme Court held that a Civil Code provision that requires one partner of a married couple, which in practice is nearly always the female partner, to change his/her surname to that of the other partner does not violate the relevant provisions of the Constitution. (Case No. […]

South Korea: Constitutional Court Decides Long-Running Case on Compensation for Forced Labor During Colonial Rule

(Jan. 6, 2016) A lawsuit called “the longest unresolved case” in Korea, which took the country’s Constitutional Court six years to deliberate, was finally settled in December 2015. (2009 Heonba 317 (Dec. 23, 2015) (in Korean); Yong-Jin Che, Claims Agreement Lawsuit That Gained Attention in Korea and Japan, Korean Constitutional Court Avoided Discussion, CHOSUN ILBO […]

South Korea: Refugee Resettlement Program

(Jan. 4, 2016) The first refugees to be handled under South Korea’s new resettlement program arrived in Korea on December 23, 2015. South Korea’s Refugee Act became effective in July 2013. (The Refugee Act, Act No. 11298 of 2012 (Feb. 10, 2012) REFWORLD.) The Act states, “[t]he Minister of Justice may permit resettlement in the […]

Japan: Communist Party Accepts Emperor’s Speech at Opening Ceremony of the Diet as Constitutional

(Jan. 4, 2016) Kazuo Shii, Japan’s Communist Party (JCP) Secretary, met with Tadamori Oshima, Speaker of the House of Representatives, on December 24, 2015, and informed the speaker that JCP members would attend the next opening ceremony of the House. Shii also requested on behalf of the JCP that the ceremony be reformed. (Norihisa Hoshino, […]