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A Comparative Perspective on Japanese Family Law

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Chapter Summary

Modern law particularly restricts public authority; therefore, jurists need to be rigorously precise in how they define and use language. This chapter discusses the function of law using plain language, in a manner that a legal specialist might. The Japanese understanding of law has its origins in this Eastern model. The civil code is a fundamental body of law regulating rights and obligations among private persons. Since family relations are included in relations among private persons, they are also covered under the civil code. Japanese family law includes many "blank canvas" provisions that, instead of explicitly prescribing the actual substance of family members' rights, leave such matters to be determined by "consultation" among the parties involved in each case. Japan's rapid urbanization and industrialization entailed an equally rapid erosion of communities that had afforded parents various forms of assistance and safety nets for child rearing.

Keywords: civil code; Eastern model; Japan's rapid industrialization; Japan's rapid urbanization; Japanese family law; legal specialist; Modern law



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