do Translation of Japan’s Private International Law: Act on the General Rules of Application of Laws [H no Tekiy ni Kansuru Ts sokuh ], Law No. 10 of 1898 (as newly titled and amended 21 June 2006) Translation by Kent Anderson and Yasuhiro Okuda* INTRODUCTION TO TRANSLATION Japan’s conflict of laws or private international law rules are, generally speaking, codified in a single act: the Act onthe General Rules of Application of Laws (Application of Laws Act).i This law, originally enacted in 1898, was comprehensively revised in 2006, effective as of 1 January 2007.ii This single act provides Japanese courts with the basic rules for identifying the applicable law in contract, property, tort, as well as special rules for product liability, consumer contracts, and labor agreements. Thelaw also covers such topics as the effective date of statutes, when custom should be treated as law, and the law applicable in family and succession conflicts. Given this coverage, the practical significance of this law — and the importance of its translation — should be obvious to foreign lawyers.
Professor, Australian National University, ANU College of Law, and Professor of PrivateInternational Law, Chuo University, Chuo Law School, respectively. A translation consistent with this one but using European style and citation form is published simultaneously at: Kent Anderson & Yasuhiro Okuda, Translation of Japan’s Private International Law: Act on the General Rules of Application of Laws (Hô no Tekiyô ni Kansuru Tsûsoku Hô), 8 Y.B. PRIVATE INT’L L. ___ (forthcoming 2007). H no tekiyni kansuru ts sokuh [Act on the General Rules of Application of Laws], Law No. 10 of 1898 [hereinafter Application of Laws Act] (amended by Law No. 78 of 2006). See Yasuhiro Okuda, Reform of Japan’s Private International Law: Act on the General Rules of the Application of Laws, 8 Y.B. PRIVATE INT’L L. ___ (forthcoming 2007); Koji Takahashi, A Major Reform of Japanese Private International Law, 2J. PRIVATE INT’L L. 311 (2006). Application of Laws Act, Fusoku [Supplementary Provisions], art. 1; Seirei [Cabinet Order], No. 289 of 2006 (Sept. 8, 2006).
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Anderson & Okuda: Translation of Japan’s Private International Law
In 2002 we provided a new, nuanced translation of the old conflicts statute.iii We outlined there our translation approach and particularly our attemptto provide a translation informed by a solid understanding of private international law. Our translation of the new wholly reformed law is consistent with that earlier translation, but also differs in two important ways. First, the 2006 reformed law uses modern Japanese rather than the formal 19th Century Japanese found in the early version. Thus, while still erring on the side of a stricttranslation, we have tried to use a less formal style. Second, in 2006 the Japanese government completed the Standard Bilingual Dictionaryiv to promote consistency in the translation of Japanese laws into English. In this translation, we strived to be consistent with that dictionary and the principles outlined in its introduction.v Consistent with that we provide the standard disclaimer regarding theauthority of the translation.vi Finally, translations are subtle and organic things. Therefore, we encourage colleagues to contact us regarding any suggested improvements, revisions, or corrections that we might incorporate into future versions.
Kent Anderson & Yasuhiro Okuda, Horei, Act on the Application of Laws, Law No. 10 of 1898, 3 ASIAN-PAC. L. & POL’Y J. 230 (2002). Please note that theLexisNexis and Westlaw online legal research services both list this translation as starting from page 8 and not page 230. WORKING GROUP, CABINET SECRETARIAT, H REI Y GO NICHI-EI HY JUN TAIYAKU JISHO [JAPANESE-ENGLISH LEGAL TERMS STANDARD BILINGUAL DICTIONARY] (March 2006), http://www.cas.go.jp/jp/seisaku/hourei/dictionary.pdf.
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Id. at 1-16.
The English translation of this law...
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