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Japan: Waste Disposal and Cleaning Law Amendment

(July 14, 2010) Japan's legislature, the Diet, passed an amendment of the Waste Disposal and Cleaning Law (Law No. 137 of 1970) in May 2010 (Law No. 34 of 2010). The amendment will be effective within one year and covers several subjects. Among them are (1) enhanced control of industrial waste disposal and (2) recycling […]

Australia; Japan: Legality of Scientific Whaling Program Challenged in International Court

(June 10, 2010) On June 1, 2010, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) released information on the proceedings instituted by Australia against Japan for alleged breaches of international obligations concerning whaling. (Press Release, ICJ, Australia Institutes Proceedings Against Japan for Alleged Breach of International Obligations Concerning Whaling (June 1, 2010), available at The Australian […]

Japan: Law to Promote More Use of Natural Wood Materials for Public Buildings

(June 8, 2010) Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery (MAFF) drafted a bill to promote the use of wood in public buildings. The bill was approved by the Cabinet submitted to the Diet, and then became a law on May 26, 2010 (Law Concerning Promotion of Use of Wood Materials for Public Buildings, Law […]

Japan: Statute of Limitations for Murder Abolished

(May 21, 2010) The Diet, Japan's legislature, amended the country's Criminal Procedure Law to abolish the statute of limitations for murder and other crimes that result in the deaths of persons. The amendments became effective on April 28, 2010, the day after the Law to Amend the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Law was […]

Japan: Public Support for High School Tuition

(May 3, 2010) On March 31, 2010, the Diet (Japan's parliament) enacted a law to subsidize all or part of high school tuition (Kōritsu kōtō gakkō ni kakaru jugyō ryō no fu chōshu oyobi kōtō gakkō tō shūgaku shien kin no shikyū ni kansuru hōritsu (hereinafter Tuition Law), Law No. 18 of 2010). Tuition for […]

Japan: 2010 Child Allowance Law

(Apr. 23, 2010) One of the important policies of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has been the provision of a monthly child allowance for all children, regardless of the parents' income. In March 2007, the DPJ raised the amount it proposed for the child allowance to ¥26,000 (about US$260). (Kumiko Hayashi, Minshu tō no […]

Japan: Stricter Sentences for Sex Offenders

(Mar. 29, 2010) Japanese lawyers and scholars have stated that sentences for rapists have been overly lenient in Japan. (“Saiban-in saiban” sei hanzai kouhan, hōritsuka yori genkaku, ryōkei sōba ni isseki [“Lay-Judge Trials” for Sex Crime Trials, (Sentences Are) Stricter Than (Those Sought by) Legal Professionals – The Effect on Sentencing], SANKEI SHINBUN, Sept. 5, […]

Japan: Plan to Videotape Police Interviews with Criminal Suspects

(Feb. 22, 2010) The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the largest member of the country's ruling coalition since the fall of 2009, had submitted a bill to the Diet (parliament) in early 2009 that would have obligated the police and public prosecutors to videotape interviews with criminal suspects. (House of Councillors Bill No. 10, 171st […]

Japan: Child Pornography Law Amendment Discussed

(Jan. 29, 2010) “Japan is one of the world's biggest suppliers of child pornography and the second biggest consumer after the U.S.” (Justin McCurry, Japan to Outlaw Possession of Child Porn, GUARDIAN, Mar. 10, 2008, available at The possession of child pornography is not at present illegal in Japan. The Act on Punishment of […]

Japan: Catalog/Online Shopping and Door-to-Door Sales Regulation Enhanced

(Nov. 27, 2009) The 2008 amendment of Japan's Act on Specified Commercial Transactions (Act No. 57 of 1976, as amended by Act No. 74 of 2008) will be fully effective on December 1, 2009. The Consumer Affairs Agency is publicizing the amendment. Among other changes, adopted in regard to such matters as e-mail advertisement and […]