Many people believe that conflict in the well-disciplined Japanese society is so rare that the Japanese legal system is of minor importance. Frank Upham shows conclusively that this view is mistaken and demonstrates that the law is extensively used, on the one hand, by aggrieved groups to articulate their troubles and mobilize political support and, on the other, by the government to channel and manage conflict after it has arisen.
This is the first Western book to take law seriously as an integral part of the dynamics of Japanese business and society, and to show how an informal legal system can work in a complex industrial democracy. Upham does this by focusing on four recent controversies with broad social implications: first, how Japan dealt with the world's worst industrial pollution and eventually became a model for Western environmental reforms; second, how the police and courts have allowed one Japanese outcast group to use carefully orchestrated physical coercion to achieve wide-ranging affirmative action programs; third, how Japanese working women used the courts to force employers to eliminate many forms of discrimination and eventually convinced the government to pass an equal employment opportunity act; and, finally, how the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and various sectors of Japanese industry have used legal doctrine to cope with the dramatic changes in Japan's economy over the last twenty-five years.
Readers interested in the interaction of law and society generally; those interested in contemporary Japanese sociology, politics, and anthropology; and American lawyers, businessmen, and government officials who want to understand how law works in Japan will all need this unusual new book.
Frank K. Upham is Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
One: Models of Law and Social Change Two Western Models A Japanese Model Two: Environmental Tragedy and Response Pollution in Minamata The Choice of Tactics The Government's Response Historical and Social Context of the Pollution Experience Three: Instrumental Violence and the Struggle for Buraku Liberation Development of the Buraku Liberation Movement The Yata Denunciation Denunciation Tactics in Court The Theory and Effectiveness of Denunciation Denunciation in Social and Political Context Four: Civil Rights Litigation and the Search for Equal Employment Opportunity The Litigation Campaign Impact of the Cases The Social and Political Role of Civil Rights Litigation Five: Legal Informality and Industrial Policy The Legal Framework of Industrial Policy The Sumitomo Metals Incident The Oil Cartel Cases Industrial Policy in the 1980s The Implications of Informality Six: Toward a New Perspective on Japanese Law The Ideology of Law in Japanese Society The Operation of Law in Japanese Society American Images of Japanese Law Notes Index