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Legal reform in Japan.
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There has been great interest globally, during recent decades, in the reform of legal systems and the establishment or more effective implementation of “rule of law” regimes. The breakup of the Soviet Union and constitutional reforms in Eastern Europe have been one important focus of such efforts, and they have been given wide attention. In a very different context, the course of reform efforts in Japan has been no less intriguing—not only for its thrust and its potential domestically, in that country, but also for the influence that Japanese reform initiatives has already had on other countries in the Asian sphere. In this light, we are pleased to be able to publish the essays in this volume, offering a variety of important perspectives on Japanese law and legal institutions in the crucible of a reform era.The studies published in this volume were originally presented at a symposium at the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, and organized by the Sho Sato Program in Japanese and U.S. Law. The Robbins Collection and its comparative law research program in Boalt Hall, and the UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Law and Society were co-sponsors. The symposium, concerned as the book's title indicates, with emerging concepts of rights in Japanese law, was coordinated with a workshop symposium honoring the contributions of Professor Takao Tanase of Kyoto University and several times a visiting professor of law at Boalt Hall and research scholar in the Center for the Study of Law and Society. Our success in obtaining a favorable response from every author invited to contribute to the workshop and the present volume was in great measure owing to the importance of an occasion recognizing Professor Tanase's studies of law and society in Japan. This book represents a continuation in a series of symposia and publications that the Sho Sato Program has undertaken in collaboration with our colleagues in Japanese universities for the advancement of discourse on comparative U.S. and Japanese law research.
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