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Japan; United States: Reviewing Criminal Jurisdiction over Civilian Employees Under the Status of Forces Agreement

(Dec. 7, 2011) In January 2011, a 19-year old man was killed in a traffic accident that was caused by a United States civilian employed by the U.S. military stationed in Okinawa. The civilian employee was on his way home from a military base. Under the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), he was considered […]

Japan: Promotion of Exhibitions of Foreign Art Works

(May 5, 2011) In March 2011, the Diet (Japan's parliament) passed two laws to facilitate exhibitions of art objects that are borrowed from abroad. In 2009, a law was enacted that exempted works of art borrowed from a foreign government from any form of judicial process, such as attachment or injunction, in Japan. One of […]

Japan: Green Tea Promotion Adopted by Law

(May 3, 2011) One of the fastest growing export items from Japan to the United States at present is green tea. (Daniel Workman, Japan Trade Statistics 2009 (Feb. 25, 2010).) The Japanese Parliament has enacted the Law Concerning Promotion of Tea (Law No. 21 of 2011, promulgated on Apr. 22, 2011.) The Law intends to […]

Japan: Streaming and Transfer of Recorded TV Programs Services Abroad Found Illegal

(Feb. 9, 2011) The Supreme Court of Japan decided in two recent cases that two kinds of services that enabled overseas Japanese to watch TV programs broadcast in Japan were illegal, because they infringed on the copyright of broadcasters and TV program producers. The lower court, the Intellectual Property High Court, had taken the side […]

Japan: Amended Guidelines on Expansion of Employment and Promotion of Female Government Employees

(Jan. 24, 2011) The National Personnel Authority (NPA) of Japan amended its Guidelines on Expansion of Employment and Promotion of Female Government Employees (Guidelines) on January 14, 2011. (Concerning an Amendment of the Guidelines [in Japanese], NPA website (Jan. 14, 2011), Based on the amendment, each national government agency is obligated to make a […]

Japan: Law to Promote Local Actions for Biodiversity

(Dec. 23, 2010) Japan's Law Concerning Promotion of Activities Coordinated Among Local Organizations for the Conservation of Biodiversity, known as the Satochi Satoyama (Satoyama Initiative) law, was promulgated on December 10, 2010 (Law No. 72 of 2010). The Law was issued in the aftermath of the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP […]

Japan: Air Traffic Controllers Found Guilty

(Dec. 1, 2010) On October 26, 2010, Japan's Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Tokyo High Court that found two air traffic controllers guilty of causing bodily injury due to negligence. (Decision of the Supreme Court, Hei 20 [2008] (a) 920 [in Japanese] [information only, not text of the Decision], Courts in Japan website, […]

Japan: Reduction of Older Public Servants’ Salaries

(Nov. 30, 2010) The Diet (Japan's Parliament) amended the laws on salaries of various categories of public servants on November 26, 2010. (For the status of bills, see House of Representatives website [in Japanese], (last visited Nov. 26, 2010).) These laws have been amended every year to adjust the level of public servants' salaries […]

Japan: Legal Aspects of Missing Elderly Persons

(Aug. 31, 2010) Since the oldest man on Tokyo's resident record was found on July 29, 2010, to have been dead for more than 30 years, municipal governments throughout Japan have been checking on the whereabouts of centenarians in their jurisdictions. (Justin McCurry, Japan Launches Nationwide Search for Centenarians, Guardian (London) (Aug. 3, 2010), […]

Japan: Single-Father Households Receive Government Support, Like Single-Mother Households

(Aug. 24, 2010) Japan's Amended Child Rearing Allowance Law (Law No. 40 of 2010) became effective on August 1, 2010. Now, single-father households may receive the same allowance from the government accorded to single-mother households. The Child Rearing Allowance Law had excluded single-father households from the low-income households qualified to receive a child-rearing allowance since […]