Max Planck Society

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

Media Information
Online version Handwörterbuch des Europäischen Privatrechts

Research into Japanese Law


The Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg is deeply involved with the comparative study of Japanese law, focusing on civil, commercial and economic law.

Comparative law focusing on Japan is a particularly interesting field because of the broad range of influences that have shaped modern Japanese law in its emergence as one of the world’s major mixed legal systems. Research on Japanese law demands the extensive incorporation of approaches from cultural anthropology, sociology, economics and politics. A particular task of this field is to apprehend and elucidate the tension between the law and extra-legal social mechanisms of regulation.

Further Information on Japanese Law and the Study of Japan in Comparative Law (PDF)

Research Focus in Japanese Law

Research concerning Japan currently focuses on two themes of current interest. The first of these is the paradigm shift in the Japanese regulatory and supervisory model that occurred almost a decade ago in response to the challenges of globalisation. The second theme, which is loosely related to the first, concerns the changes underway in Japanese corporate governance. Both themes are a part of modern legal and institutional comparison within the “Triad” (US – EU – Japan). Thus, they can contribute to the discussion of the contours and limits of a potential international convergence of systems.

Information about the Transformation of the Japanese Regulatory Model and the Alterations in Corporate Governance (PDF)

Publications on Japanese Law

Academic Events

Academic Exchange and Cooperation



The Rise of Asian Economic Power. A Question of Corporate Management?
As recently as two decades ago, independent directors were oddities in Asia’s boardrooms. This has fundamentally changed in the last twenty years. Parallel to the economic ascent and internationalization of Asia, the number of independent directors operating at the management level has grown