J.Japan.L. 51/2021: Reactions to Covid-19 in Japanese and German law and other current topics

August 11, 2021

Reactions to Covid-19 in Japanese law and a comparative assessment vis-a-vis Germany serve as the starting point in Issue 51 of the Journal of Japanese Law (Zeitschrift für Japanisches Recht). The latest edition of the periodical – co-published by the Institute – also explores the treatment of parodies in copyright law, legal liability for nuclear damages and administrative standing with a view to cremation practices. Additional current topics are considered in several further articles.

Held in August 2020 by the Centre of Expertise on Japan at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, the virtual conference “Reactions to Covid-19 in Japanese and German Law” focused on the law of obligations, labour law, procedural law and public law. The current issue of the Journal of Japanese Law presents the articles on Japanese law in updated form. They are supplemented by a comparative evaluation of the symposium that has been authored by Ruth Effinowicz.

In an in-depth essay, Olivier Heremans describes the approach Japan takes towards parodies and comprehensively examines the relevant case law. He then goes on to provide an analysis of EU copyright law, contrasting the European and Japanese legal regimes. Ultimately, drawing on EU law, he formulates a proposal for a flexible exemption that takes into account all manner of parodies.

Ten years after the atomic energy accident in Fukushima, Mina Wakabayashi examines legal liability for nuclear damage in Japan. She analyses several of the court rulings issued against the company TEPCO and describes new legal challenges in relation to both material and immaterial damages.

Maiko Ishikawa examines the funeral system, particularly issues surrounding cremation practice, and analyses the legal standing of third parties who file administrative law suits regarding the establishment and operation of nōkotsu-dō, places of storage and remembrance for the ashes of the dead. Further contributions shed light on various developments in Japanese law. Among other topics examined, articles in the new issue of the Journal consider the activities of legal advisers working on labour and social security law matters (sharōshi); judicial practice in the areas of child custody, visitation and maintenance as well as international child abduction; and liability for “death by overwork” (karōshi).

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