U.S. Influence Behind New Contract Law in Japan that No One Wants

When you go on vacation to another country, it’s customary to bring back small souvenirs from that location for your friends including (but not limited to) t-shirts, mugs, shot glasses, hats and even some rare food items.

But a young researcher from the University of Tokyo’s law faculty came to the U.S and apparently became quite enthralled by United States contract law. He really enjoyed the writings of the late Grant Gilmore, whose book “The Death of Contract” (you know you’ve got a copy somewhere) explained the supposed decline of American contract law. Deciding Japanese contract law was also “dying,” he made it his ambition to “save” it. You can probably see where this is headed.

Returning to Japan, he goes on to become a full professor, authoring a leading treatise on the Civil Code, as well as a book entitled “The Rebirth of Contract.” A good establishment scholar, he gets into the government committee circuit and ultimately convinces the Justice Ministry to completely revamp Japanese contract law and hire him to spearhead the effort.

The Japan Times says “Humans have been transacting for millennia — long enough to resolve many recurring problems. Courts fine-tune as needed, but since most rules of formal contract law are optional, deficiencies can be addressed through different rules contained in contracts themselves that are sometimes referred to as “boilerplate.” Japanese contract law today involves 120 years of court interpretations, academic theory and drafting techniques generations of practitioners have put into practice through millions of contracts. Soon it will all change.”

So apparently, contract laws in Japan are in for a revamp even though no one really asked for it and no one who works in the system actually wants it to happen. Japan probably would’ve preferred it if the researcher just brought them back a shot glass!

Contract disputes happen everywhere from Tokyo to Main Street USA. And when they affect YOUR business, you’re going to want a legal expert and a lover of nearly all types of Japanese food, Dean Sperling, right there to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind.

More on the Case:

How Japan got new contract law it neither wants nor needs