Asian Law Center

Countries in Focus - Japan

The Asian Law Program (now Center) was founded nearly 50 years ago on the comparative study of the US-Japan legal relations and the laws and legal history of Japan. Japan remains central to our research and teaching mission. We are one of few law schools worldwide that offers several specialized courses relating to Japanese law annually and that regularly has four to five faculty working on Japanese law as well as a specialist Japanese law librarian. Our largest international alumni group is located in Japan and we have enduring ties to Japan’s leading university law schools, the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor-General’s office and to key Japanese and international law firms in that market.

Asian Law Lecture Series: Hate Speech Regulation in Japan

Prof. Shigenori Matsui

On April 7, 2015, Professor Shigenori Matsui (University of British Columbia School of Law) spoke on whether Japan should adopt legislation banning hate speech.

Although hate speech against Burakumin existed in the past, the Japanese government has been reluctant to enact a hate speech ban, or civil rights legislation granting administrative and civil remedies for private acts of discrimination. However, the escalation of hate speech by right-wing groups against resident Koreans has triggered a debate on this subject. Some members of the legislatures are pushing for a ban, and an increasing number of local assemblies are passing resolutions calling for national ban on hate speech. Professor Matsui explored the reasons behind the reluctance of the Japanese government to ban hate speech, what kind of ban should be introduced, and how it would stand up against “freedom-of-expression” challenges.

Asian Law Lecture: The Origins of Property Rights: from Monkeys to Modern Society

Professor Masanobu Kato

On February 20, 2015, Professor Masanobu Kato gave a lecture on the origins of property rights.  He is professor at Nagoya Gakuin University Faculty of Law and also Of Counsel at Anderson Mori & Tomotsune.  He was here at the special invitation of UW President Michael Young.

Professor Masanobu Kato is considered to be one of Japan’s leading civil code scholars. His works in Product Liability, Torts, Unjust Enrichment and Financial Leasing Contracts are regarded as definitive treatises in Japan. In addition, he has authored books and articles in commercial law, civil procedure, international transactions, intellectual property, labor, administration, tax, environmental, American, and Chinese law. Professor Kato is also well known for authoring a series of five civil code textbooks entitled: “Contemporary Civil Code System of Japan," and is planning to release the sixth and final volume “Family Law.”

Transpacific Conversation on Comparative Constitutional Law in Asia: Recording Available

Two special panels were organized on Thursday, December 4th by Professor Clark Lombardi. These panels consisted of leading scholars in Asian comparative law who spoke on constitutional law issues in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
These  are now available at the above link with a UW NET ID.

Prof. Daniel Foote's Japan Law Lecture Available

Professor Daniel H. Foote's October 21 lecture is now available at the above link. 

President Michael Young's Asian Law Lecture Now Available

President Young's lecture on "Japanese Attitudes Towards Contracts: An Empirical Wrinkle in the Debate" is now available at the above link.

Sustainable International Development Program Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Prof. Prosterman

On February 6, 2014, the University of Washington School of Law’s Sustainable International Development Law program celebrated its 20 year anniversary , looking back at what was accomplished and looking forward to where the innovative program is heading. Professor Roy Prosterman, who founded the SID Program, was honored at the event.  UW Law was also pleased to welcome back Yoichi Shio (c/o '04, SID LLM) for the event. Mr. Shio is the Director, Law and Justice Division, Governance Group, of Japan International Cooperation Department (JICA).

Asian Law Lecture Series: UW President, Michael Young

President Young

UW School of Law and the Asian Law Center welcomed President Michael Young to present for the Asian Law Lecture on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. President Young's lecture was entitled "Japanese Attitudes Towards Contracts: An Empirical Wrinkle in the Debate."  President Young has a distinguished record as an academic leader with broad experience in public service and diplomacy. He was also Fuyo Professor of Japanese Law for more than 20 years at Columbia University, where he served as director of the Center for Japanese Legal Studies and the Center for Korean Legal Studies.He has published extensively on a wide range of topics, including international trade law, the Japanese legal system, international environmental law, international human rights and freedom of religion.

Professor John Haley Lecture Available

On November 26, Professor John Haley's November 26 lecture is now available at the above link. Please log in with your UW Net ID to view the video.

Asian Law Lecture: Prof. John O. Haley on "The Village Paradigm: Is It Still Viable?" 11/26 at 3:30 p.m.

John Haley

On November 26, 2013, Professor John O. Haley gave a lecture titled The Village Paradigm: Is It Still Viable? In Authority without Power: Law and the Japanese Paradox (1991), Prof. Haley reintroduced the notion of the Japanese village, but raised the question whether the village paradigm remains viable given recent political, economic, and legal change.

Professor John O. Haley served as Director of the Asian Law Center from 1974 to 2000. He is one of the nation's outstanding international and comparative law scholars. In 2012 Professor Haley was awarded The Order of the Rising Sun (3rd Class) from the Emperor of Japan for his contribution to the discipline of Japanese law and education to Japanese legal professionals and academics.

Professor Tom Schoenbaum's Asian Law Lecture Video Now Available

Professor Tom Schoenbaum's September 26, lecture recording is now available at the above link. Please log in with your UW Net ID to view the video.

UW Faculty Travel to Bangkok and Tokyo For Seminars, December 2 & 4.

On December 2, 2013, UW Law, Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Law, and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) hosted the “IP Policy and Technology Transfer Practice” seminar at Chulalongkorn University. Experts from Japan, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Korea, China, Vietnam, and Russia spoke on topics such as international contracts, health law, taxation law, and TRIPS. Speakers included Prof. Sakda Thanitcul of Chulalongkorn (LLM '93; PhD '97), Prof. Toshiko Takenaka (UWLS, CASRIP director), Prof. Dan Laster (UWLS & PATH), Prof. Shamnad Basheer of National University of Juridical Sciences, India (UW Visiting Scholar 2012), Associate Dean Patricia Kuszler (UWLS), and Prof. Don S. Zang (UWLS, Asian Law Center Director).

On December 4, 2013, UW Law and Tokyo Medical Dental University co-hosted a seminar on "Globalization of Medical Science Industry and Technology Transfer Strategies." Topics  included: Licensing Genetic Material, Intellectual Property Issue in Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, Technology Transfer System in Russia, and Training Licensing Specialists and Additional Values in Studying Abroad.

Deans Naoya Katayama & Hajime Yamamoto Visit UW Law; Sign MOU; Deliver Asian Law Lecture


On Monday, October 28th, 2013, UW Law was honored to host Dean Naoya Katayama,  Vice-Dean Hajime Yamamoto, and Professor Gerald McAlinn from Keio University Law School (Tokyo). First the Keio Deans visited Dean Kellye Testy, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between Keio and UW Law. UW Law is pleased to strengthen its ties to Keio Law and looks forward to future collaborations. 

In the afternoon, Vice-Dean Yamamoto delivered a lecture on "Modernity and its problématique for Japanese Constitutional Theory," covering a broad range of issues that have faced Japan since it began modernizing during the Meiji Revolution and adopting some, but not all, ideas behind Western constitutionalism. Because the current ruling conservative party in Japan wants to revise the 1945 constitution, Vice-Dean Yamamoto stressed that  human rights and respect for individual autonomy must be made paramount in any reconstruction of the constitution.

Mie Murazumi, Associate Director, Visits Tokyo & Taipei Alumni.

Mie Murazumi

Mie Murazumi, Associate Director of the Asian Law Center, JD c/o '01, visited Tokyo and Taipei on October 8-16, 2013. Her visit was a follow-up to the 2012 visit, in which she was accompanied by Associate Dean Pat Kuszler.

In Tokyo, Mrs. Murazumi met with ALC alumni in several of Japan's top firms, and also spoke to interested associates about the LL.M. programs at UW Law.

While in Taipei, Mrs. Murazumi met with students at National Taiwan University. She was also pleased to be able to reunite with our Ph.D. alumni who are working in universities and law firms.

Our staff and faculty travel worldwide on a regular basis.

Yoshimochi Taniguchi, ALC LLM 2012, Publishes Article in The Richmond Journal of Global Law & Business

Mr. Yoshimochi Taniguchi

Mr. Yoshimochi Taniguchi, who graduated from the Asian & Comparative Law LL.M. program in June 2012, has published an article in the University of Richmond's Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business. The article is titled "Deepening Confidence in the Application of CISG to the Sales Agreements Between the United States and Japanese Companies" and is a revised version of Mr. Taniguchi's LL.M. paper, which was supervised by Dr. Dana Raigrodski.

The paper is available in the Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business, Spring 2013 (Vol. 12, No. 2). It is also accessible as a free PDF through the above link.

John Haley's Festschrift Addresses Available Through Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal

John Haley

On October 19, 2012, the Asian Law Center and UW School of Law were very honored to host the John Haley Festschrift Conference in Seattle. Then UW faculty traveled to Tokyo in order to attend the second festschrift conference hosted by the University of Waseda on October 22, 2012.

Professor John Haley delivered addresses at each conference. These addresses are now available in the June 2013 (Vol. 22, No. 3) issue of The Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal. The first address is a retrospective on the Asian Law Center, and the second is on the topic of The Role of Courts in "Making" Law in Japan: The Communitarian Conservatism of Japanese Judges.

If you would like to view these articles, please visit the PacRim website. The Asian Law Center thanks the PacRim editorial staff for their outstanding work.

Professor Tay-Sheng Wang Delivers the Second Lecture in the Asian Law Lecture Series

Professor Wang

On October 15, 2013, Professor Tay-Sheng Wang, Visiting Scholar at UW Law and UW LL.M. '90, Ph.D. '92, presented a lecture on the topic of "Translation, Codification and Transplantation of Foreign Laws in Taiwan." Professor Wang is a Lifetime Distinguished Professor at National Taiwan University and a recipient of the Asian Law Center Lifetime Achievement Award.

His research has focused on Taiwanese-centered legal history, and during the lecture he discussed how Taiwan's laws have evolved under the influence of Japanese colonial rule as well as Chinese rule. German law and American law have also influenced Taiwanese law, as different generations of Taiwanese legal academics have studied abroad and also interpreted these laws into Chinese. Prof. Wang also discussed the role of traditional customs in Taiwan's law.

The next Asian Law Lecture is scheduled for October 28, when the Vice-Dean of Keio University Law School, Hajime Yamamoto, will speak on Japanese constitutional theory.

ALC Welcomes Professors John Haley, Tom Schoenbaum, and Tay-Sheng Wang

Profs. Rombauer, Haley, Wang, Schoenbaum

On October 11, 2013, the Asian Law Center held a reception to welcome back Professor John Haley, former director of the ALC, Visiting Professor Schoenbaum, and Professor Tay-Sheng Wang, recipient of the ALC 50th Anniversary Life-Time Achievement Award.  

Professor Tom Schoenbaum Gives Asian Law Lecture

Schoenbaum Lecture

On September 26, 2013, Professor Tom Schoenbaum, Visiting Professor at UW Law and Research Professor at George Washington University Law School, delivered a lecture entitled “Territorial and Maritime Disputes Between Japan and China: Is Compromise Possible?” Professor Schoenbaum explained the historical and legal claims of Japan and China, and then proposed an innovative compromise to resolve the disputes.

The audience included many Visiting Scholars, PhD and LLM students, faculty members, and also members of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. After the lecture, there was a lively Q&A session, followed by a reception.

UW Law Welcomes Visiting Scholars and Graduate Students for the 2013-14 Academic Year

3 ALC LLM Students

On September 16, 2013, we welcomed the new incoming LLM & PhD students and Visiting Scholars with a reception after their all-day orientation. An estimated 150 students and scholars gathered in the William H. Gates Hall Galleria.

For the 2013-14 year, 50 are enrolled in the Asian Law Center's (ALC) Asian & Comparative Law LLM, Global Business Law LLM, and Sustainable International Development Law LLM program. The ALC is proud to announce that its LLM students represent 16 countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Krygzstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Uganda, USA, and Zimbabwe. Our students also come from diverse working backgrounds such as law lecturers & faculty, firm attorneys and managers, prosecutors, NGOs, small practice and/or business founders, and journalism. 

Asian Law Center Celebrates Milestone 50th Anniversary

ALC 50th Logo

During the 2012-13 Academic Year, the Asian Law Center celebrated its bicentennial anniversary . We began with two back-to-back October conferences in Seattle and in Tokyo honoring former Asian Law Center Director Professor John O. Haley. In March, we welcomed back Professor Dan Foote for a public lecture on the saiban’in system and criminal justice reform in Japan.  In May we celebrated Professor Roy Prosterman, as well as the the 20th anniversary of the Sustainable International Development Graduate Program, with a panel discussing emerging legal challenges to inclusive development in Myanmar (Burma).

Our year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Asian Law Center culminated in a special event on June 13, 2013, at the Four Seasons Hotel. The celebration, led by Dean Kellye Y. Testy and ALC Director Jon Eddy, recognized the lifetime achievements of five of our distinguished alumni throughout Asia:

• Tasuku Matsuo M.C.L. '69
• C.J. Kim Ph.D '72
• Liu Guoyuan LL.M. '82
• Erman Rajagukguk LL.M.'84, Ph.D '88
• Tay-sheng Wang LL.M. '90, Ph.D. '92

Each of the honorees emphasized how much the faculty, staff, librarians, and their peers meant to their education and propelled them to where they are today. It reminded us, reflected Dean Testy, of the enormous influence that our faculty members have on our students' lives and, in turn, the influence our students have on our world.

Founded fifty years ago, with just one faculty member, the ALC is now an international hub of legal thinking. The impact of the program is felt around the globe, with multiple generations of graduates serving as leaders in business, government and academia.

The Law, Technology & Arts Group and the Asian Law Center Host Global IP Week

The Law, Technology & Arts Group, CASRIP, in collaboration with the Asian Law Center will host the 2013 Global IP Week from May 3-10.  Key events include: A presentation on Russian Patent Law and Practice on May 3; The IP and National Innovation Strategies in Asia-Pacific Conference on May 4, bringing together scholars from Germany, Japan, Korea, China and the United States; A lecture on patents and trade secret protection in Germany, on May 6; And a May 8 lecture on Chinese experiences and lessons in Implementing IP Strategy.  The closing event for the 2013 Global IP Week is a conference entitled "The Future of Green Technology: Policy Consideration for Obama's Second Term," organized by Professor Don S. Zang.  Scholars from China, Canada, Germany and the United States will discuss (a) the energy strategies in China, Canada, and their impacts on the United States; and (b) the role of patent law in promoting green technology.

Former Vice President of Taiwan and Human Rights Advocate, Annette Lu Hsiu-lien, to Deliver Lecture at UW on April 5

Madam Annette Lu Hsiu-lien

We were honored to host Annette Lu Hsiu-lien, Vice President of Taiwan from 2000 to 2008 and current president of Taiwan Alliance for Green 21. Madam Lu delivered a lecture entitled “A New Perspective on the Asia Pacific" at UW on Friday, April 5, at the Burke Room inside the Burke Museum.  In her talk, Madam Lu presented her proposal for resolving the military crisis over the Diaoyutai Island territory, claimed by Taiwan, Japan, and China, as well as highlight new strategies for improving foreign relations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the Asian Law Center, in honor of its 50th anniversary, and by the China Studies Program in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.

Madam Lu is a writer, politician, and antinuclear activist. A graduate of National Taiwan University, University of Illinois, and Harvard University, Lu rose to prominence as the founder of feminist movement in Taiwan. Later, she became a leader in an opposition movement calling for democracy and an end to the Kuomintang authoritarian rule. On December 10, 1979, she delivered a speech at an International Human Rights Day rally (known as the “Kaohsiung Incident”), and charged with “violent sedition” and sentenced to prison by a military court. Lu was released in 1985 after 1,933 days of imprisonment. In 1993, Lu was elected as a member of Taiwan’s national parliament and in 1997 she was elected as the Magistrate of Taoyuan County. In 2000, she was elected the first female Vice President. In 2004, she was re-elected after being struck by a bullet on the eve of the election. After her retirement in 2008, Lu established the International Federation of Business and Professional Women-Taiwan. She is currently involved in two national campaigns: the “Less Meat, Less Heat” Campaign to combat climate change and a movement to halt construction of Taiwan’s 4th Nuclear Power Plant.

UW President Young Visits Asia

UW President Michael Young

UW President Michael K. Young will make his first international trip on behalf of the University.  The President’s three-city tour will begin in Taiwan March 28 and wrap up April 9 in Tokyo, with a stop in Seoul on April 3. He is looking forward to visiting with our many alumni and friends in Asia.

Asian Law Center Welcomes Back Prof. Dan Foote During Center's 50th Anniversary Celebration

As part of the Asian Law Center's 50th Anniversary celebration this year, we welcomed back Professor Dan Foote for a reception and public lecture on March 7.  Prof. Foote's lecture, entitled "The Saiban’in System and Criminal Justice Reform in Japan,"
addressed the broad range of reforms to the criminal justice system in Japan with a special focus on the introduction and impact of the Saiban'in system.

Professor Foote (University of Tokyo; Affiliate Professor UW Law) served as the UW Law’s Dan Fenno Henderson Professor of East Asian Legal Studies from 1988 to 2000, specializing in Japanese Law.  He has served on numerous advisory committees for the Japanese government and the Japanese Association of Law Schools.  As an expert on U.S. and Japanese legal systems and education, Prof. Foote has been heavily involved in Japan’s introduction of U.S. style legal education, and has closely followed the criminal justice reforms, including the Saiban’in system, a lay participation system frequently referred to as the Japanese-style jury.

Professor Foote has been co-teaching a cutting edge course on international contracting, in which Tokyo University law students in Japan and UW Law students in Seattle negotiate and draft legal documents in a simulated cross-border business transaction.  Prof. Foote will return to UW Law as a Visiting Professor during the 2013-2014 academic year.

UW Law students participate at Waseda Law School’s 2013 Transnational Program on Gender Equality in Society

Elisabeth Smith (2L) and Lauren Guicheteau (3L) traveled to Tokyo to represent the University of Washington School of Law at the Waseda Law School’s 2013 Transnational Program on Gender Equality in Society, which took place March 4-8. Professors and students from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Germany, and the United States and spent a week engaged in cross-cultural communication on gender. The professors included Kyoko Ishida (Ph.D. '06), Waseda University; Dorothy Roberts, University of Pennsylvania; Ute Sacksofsky, Frankfurt University; Chao-ju Chen, National Taiwan University; Hyunah Yang, Seoul National University; and Cynthia Bowman, Cornell University.

At the end of the week the students participated in a presentation competition in which each group presented a policy recommendation to promote gender equality in society. These groups consisted of representatives from the various countries in order to further the participants' understanding of gender issues from a global perspective. Elisabeth Smith’s team, which was selected as the winner of the competition, wrote a model law on paid parental leave and public childcare, while Lauren Guicheteau's team discussed changing the Japanese Koseki system to reduce discrimination against women and LGBTQ individuals.

Japan's newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun features the Work of IPNW on Post-Conviction DNA Testing Leading to Exonoration

Yoshiomi Morishita, a news reporter at The Yomiuri Shimbun, the Japaneses newspaper credited with having the largest newspaper circulation in the world, wrote an editorial featuring the work of the Innocence Project Northwest, University of Washington School of Law (IPNW) on post-conviction DNA testing leading to exonoration.

Mr. Morishita visited the law school to interview Professor Jacqueline McMurtrie, IPNW Director, and law clinic members Anna Tolin, Lara Zarowsky and law student Brian Ferrasci-O'Malley. Mr. Morishita also went to Yakima to interview IPNW client Ted Bradford.  Mr. Morishita’s story appeared in The Yomiuri Shimbun on November 6, 2012, in conjunction with the Tokyo High Court’s November 7th decision in the Mainali case. Mr. Mainali is likely to have his 1997 murder conviction overturned on the basis of post-conviction DNA testing. The prosecutors have conceded that Mr. Mainali is not guilty.

The connection to The Yomiuri Shimbun was brought about through Professor Kana Sasakura of the Faculty of Law at Konan University, who was a visiting scholar at the law school last year. She worked with IPNW throughout the year and was a tremendous asset to the IPNW. Kana hopes to start an innocence project in Japan.

Festschrift Conferences in honor of Professor John Haley (Asian Law Center Director, 1974-2000))

During the 2012-13 Academic Year, the Asian Law Center will celebrate its bicentennial anniversary . We begin with two back-to-back October conferences in Seattle and in Tokyo honoring former Asian Law Center Director Professor John O. Haley.

UW School of Law and the Asian Law Center  are pleased to honor Professor Haley by bringing together distinguished scholars and Asian Law Center alumni and friends to discuss current topics in Asian law and specifically law in Japan in two Festschrift Conferences entitled “Law in Japan and its Role in Asia: Between East and West”. The first conference will take place at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, on Friday October 19, 2012. Following a keynote address by Professor Haley, distinguished Asian Law scholars from around the world will discuss the role of courts in law in Japan and elsewhere in Asia, as well as current topics in Asian law ranging from environmental law in China to corporate finance and insolvency in Japan.

The following Monday, on October 22nd, Professor Haley, joined by UW School of Law Dean Kellye Testy, Associate Dean Pat Kuszler and Asian Law Center faculty and staff Jon Eddy, Toshiko Takenaka, Clark Lombardi, Dongsheng Zang, Jonathan Kang and Mie Murazumi will participate at a second conference co-hosted with Waseda University Faculty of Law in Tokyo. At Waseda, eminent academicians and members of the judicial bench and practicing bar will further expand on the role of courts in Asia, and particularly on judicialization in Asia.

Professor Haley is one of the nation's outstanding international and comparative law scholars and is widely credited with having popularized Japanese legal studies. In 1969, Haley received a fellowship from the University of Washington and was in one of the first classes to graduate from the Asian Law Program. After working for several years in law firms in Japan, he joined the law faculty at the University of Washington, where he remained for nearly 26 years, directing the Asian and Comparative Law Program from 1974 to 2000. Professor Haley’s numerous scholarly works span issues ranging from international trade policy and comparative law to Japanese land-use law, Japanese and East Asian business transactions, and Japanese law and contemporary society. On June 19, 2012, Professor Haley was awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon from the Emperor of Japan for his contribution to the discipline of Japanese law and education to Japanese legal professionals and academics.

In Memoriam - Professor Emeritus Richard O. Kummert

As we grapple with the sudden loss of Professor Emeritus Richard O. Kummert on April 17, 2012, we remember his lasting contributions to generations of students, to the Asian Law Center and to the Law School. Since arriving at the law school in 1964, Professor Kummert has held various positions, but his first love has been teaching. He has been an integral part of the Asian Law Program (now Center) from the very beginning. His support for innovative curriculum, beginning with the first offering of Japanese/U.S. Business Corporation Law with Professor Misao Tatsuta in 1968, is a key reason for the UW Law School’s increased visibility around the word. “For a long time," said Kummert, "we were the only place in the country with programs in Marine Affairs and an Asian Law Center…They put the UW on the map.”  We will miss him dearly.

East Asian Law Library Featured in FCIL Publication

Neel Kant Agrawal, a lawyer with the UW Law Librarianship Program, has published a feature article on the East Asian Law Department (EALD) of the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library. The article reviews the rich history and the circumstances that led to the development of EALD, which is well known and highly regarded for its wide-ranging collection of legal materials on China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The EALD supports the Law School’s long-standing research interest amongst faculty, students and staff in the legal systems of East Asia, as well as supports the needs and interests of patrons from the UW community, Seattle, Washington state, regional, national, and even international constituencies seeking information about the legal systems of East Asia.

"The rich history of EALD," writes Neel, "is a clear illustration of how law libraries have adopted to the globalization of the law and legal education." As research on East Asia continues to expand, EALD is uniquely positioned to advance critical discourse and foster long-lasting relations between key legal scholars in the U.S. and East Asia.

UW Law Hosts Distinguished Japanese Scholars for a February 2012 Lecture Series

Professors Goodman Taniguchi and Matsui

Join UW Law and the Asian Law Center in welcoming esteemed Japanese law scholars Professor Yasuhei Taniguchi (Emeritus Kyoto U, former WTO Judge), Professor Shinichi Ago (Kyushu U; former ILO Officer), Professor Shigenori Matsui (U British Columbia) and Professor Carl Goodman (Visiting Professor, UW Law) for a week-long series of lectures:

February 22 - Civil Litigation in Japan
Professor Shigenori Matsui, Director, Japanese Legal Studies, University of British Columbia
Professor Matsui will revisit the state of Japanese civil litigation and talk about the small numbers of litigation, the reasons for it, and various hurdles for civil litigation in Japan.

February 23 - The Experience of a Japanese WTO Trade Law Judge
Professor Yasuhei Taniguchi, Emeritus, Kyoto University; Former WTO Judge
Professor Yasuhei Taniguchi will share from his experience as a member of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body from 2000-2007.

February 27 - The Ozawa Prosecution and Japanese Democracy
Professor Carl Goodman, Visiting Professor, University of Washington School of Law
Recent changes in Japan's criminal law have affected Japanese politics. Professor Goodman will discuss legal and political concerns arising from the trial of former Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa.

February 28 - The Application of International Labor Standards in Asia and the Role of Corporate Social Responsibility
Professor Shinichi Ago, Kyushu University Faculty of Law
Professor Shinichi Ago, who served many years as a Legal Officer with the International Labor Organization, will discuss the general attitude of Asian countries towards international labor standards as well as the role of CSR.

Dean Testy and Faculty Return from a Successful Visit to Tokyo, Seoul, and Taipei

Tokyo Sept 2011 Alumni and Friends Dinner

Dean Kellye Testy, Director of the Asian Law Center Professor Jon Eddy, and Professors Yong-Sung (Jonathan) Kang and Clark Lombardi recently returned from a very successful trip to Asia – Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei. In addition to connecting with alumni and friends, Dean Testy and our faculty joined colleagues from our partner schools for the Second East Asian Law and Society Conference and visited top law firms in Korea and National Taiwan University.

Dean Testy observed that "the Law School's engagement with Asia is critical for our future, and this trip was a “home run” on all counts: alumni and donor engagement, academic partnerships, jobs and other opportunities for our students, and scholarly opportunities for our faculty."

Dean Testy and Faculty Present at the 2nd East Asian Law and Society Conference

Dean Testy and several Asian Law Center faculty presented on diverse topics during the 2nd East Asian Law and Society Conference which took place at Yonsei University on September 30th and October 1st, 2011. Dear Testy presented on "The Promises and Perils of Shareholder Primacy" during a plenary session on law and markets in East Asia; Prof. Eddy and Prof. Taylor addressed global efforts to promote rule of law; Prof. Lombardi presented on "Judicial Discovery of Islamic Law in Asia"; and Prof. Kang examined law and morality on Korean jurisprudence. Michelle Kwon (Ph.D. Candidate) presented a paper examining the regulatory dynamics between the Suprme Court of Korea and the Korean Commercial Arbotration Board.

Asian Law Center Hosts an International Symposium on the Japanese Legal Profession after the 2008 Financial Crisis and the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake

Visiting Professor Bruce Aronson

In May 2011, UW Law and the Asian Law Center hosted an international symposium on the Japanese Legal Profession after the 2008 Financial Crisis and the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. The symposium, convened by Visiting Professor Bruce Aronson, brought together esteemed speakers from Tokyo including Hisashi Hara (Chairman, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu), Toru Ishiguro (Partner, Mori Hamada Matsumoto), Akira Kosugi (Managing Partner, Nishimura & Asahi), John Roebuck (Partner, Jones Day Tokyo), Shinichi Sugiyama (Partner, Harago & Partners), Toshiro Ueyanagi (Representative Partner, Tokyo Surugadai Law Offices), and Akihiro Wani (Managing Partner, Linklaters Tokyo). Professor Aronson will develop a law review article based on the proceedings of the symposium to be published in the winter issue of the Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal.

Professor Aronson, who also taught our course on Japanese Law in spring quarter, is an active Japanese law scholar with a wealth of practical experience in Japan. He spent the summer of 2010 at the Bank of Tokyo, and will be returning to Japan as a Fulbright Scholar next year, researching at Waseda Law School – a partner institution of UWLS.

Law Students Participate in Comparative and vcross-Border Insolvency Law Conference at Waseda Law School

As part of the Law School's collaboration with Waseda Law School, Dean Kamata and Professor Furuya generously extended an invitation for several UW law students to participate at Waseda's annual Transnational Program, which for 2011 focused on Insolvency Law. Brian M. Sheehan and Marie Michelle Webster joined students and faculty from top U.S. and foreign law schools, for the week-long conference.

Dean Testy and Faculty Visit Alumni and Friends in Japan

Dean Testy with Mr. Matsuo and Asst. Dean Cox

Dean Kellye Testy along with Professor and Director of the Asian Law Center, Jon Eddy, Professor and Chair of Law, Technology & Arts Group Bob Gomulkiewicz, Washington Research Foundation/W. Hunter Simpson Professor of Law Toshiko Takenaka, as well as Assistant Dean for Advancement Stephanie Cox visited Japan in October 2010, where they were welcomed by many law school alumni in both Osaka and Tokyo. Dean Testy and her delegation were able to meet and greet many of our alumni who are practicing and heading up some of Japan’s major corporations and law firms. Also on the itinerary were visits to the Supreme Court of Japan, the Japan Patent Office and many of our friends at partner law schools.

Additionally, and with the support and help of Mr. Takamitsu Shigetomi (LL.M. '03) and Mr. Tomohito Ihara, the law school hosted two well-attended alumni reunion dinners, one in Osaka and one in Tokyo. We would like to thank Mr. Shigetomi and Mr. Ihara for their dedicated support of these two events. The dinners were a complete success due to their efforts.

The recent trip to Japan is one of several trips that will be made over the course of the next year. Future trips to China and Korea are planned for spring and fall of 2011.  

Visit of Japan’s Supreme Court Justice Koji Miyakawa

ustice Miyakawa with former Dean Hjorth

On October 8, 2010, former Law School Dean Roland Hjorth welcomed Japan’s Supreme Court Justice Koji Miyakawa. Justice Miyakawa has had an illustrious career as a Japanese attorney specializing in environmental lawsuits, and also contributed to the crafting the new law school system adopted by Japan a few years ago. He was named Justice of the Supreme Court in 2008. Justice Miyakawa expressed his desire to foster the development of Japan’s new legal education system, and was eager to hear about admissions, course offerings, clinics, and career placement practices at the UW School of Law. After an exchange of information with Law School faculty and staff centered on legal education, Justice Miyakawa enjoyed a lunch discussion in Japanese with over ten Japan-specialist J.D. students and Japanese graduate students.

Toshitaka Kudo (LL.M '02; Ph.D. '09) Joins the Faculty at Keio University Faculty of Law

Toshitaka Kudo

Toshitaka Kudo (LL.M '02; Ph.D. '09) joined the faculty at Keio University Faculty of Law as a civil procedure law professor, starting April 2010.

Dr. Kudo's dissertation was entitled 'Changes to the Civil Procedure Law and Regulations Prompted by Specialized Litigation - The U.S. and the Japanese Patent Invalidation Procedures.' His project dealt with the new and important question of how challenges to patent validity have become an important industrial strategy in both Japan and the U.S. and the pressures that this trend exerts on both the court system and administrative agencies in both countries. Dr. Kudo argued for civil procedure reforms in both the U.S. and Japan to both align the different systems and to make greater use of best practice developments in those jurisdictions.

Improving Access to Japanese Databases

In March 2010, Rob Britt , the Acting Head and Japanese Legal Materials Specialist of the Gallagher Law Library
East Asian Law Department, attended the once-a-decade NCC “3D” (North American Coordinating Committee for Japanese Library Resources, 3rd Decade Planning Conference), and the Association of Asian Studies Council on East Asian Libraries (CEAL) annual conference at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

In a session titled “Promoting Collections and Access” Rob gathered participant’s opinions on ways to improve access to Japanese databases. A recommendation to funders and participants for the best strategic aims over the next ten years will come out of the process.

Law Students Participate in Public Health and Law Conference at Waseda Law School

As part of the Law School's collaboration with Waseda Law School, Dean Kamata and Professor Furuya generously extended an invitation for several UW law students to participate at Waseda's annual Transnational Program, which for 2010 focused on Health Law.  Kyle Gotchy, Geoff Hymans and Charlene Koski joined students and faculty from top U.S. and foreign law schools, for the week-long conference focused on healthcare, medical malpractice and bioethical mediation. Charlene and Geoff also earned the top awards for a student competition regarding solutions to a hypothetical medical malpractice case.

Miles Hawks (J.D. ’09) Join Davis Polk & Wardwell’s Tokyo Office

Congratulations to Miles Hawks (J.D., LL.M. ’09) who will join Davis Polk & Wardwell’s Tokyo office as an Associate this year. Miles joins UW alumni Mork Murdock (J.D. ’04) and Christopher Kodama (J.D. ’06), making this three UW Law School alumni in an international office of twelve. Miles, Mork and Christopher all completed their J.D.s with a concentration in Asian Law and with an emphasis on professional-level Japanese language. They are great ambassadors for the Law School.

Law Through Global Eyes Lecture Series: Seeking Justice Through International Institutions -- A Look at the Efforts of Japan’s NGOS Before the UN Human Rights Committee

Professor Lawrence Repeta

On April 22, 2009 (117 William H. Gates Hall, 12:30-1:20pm), Lawrence Repeta, Garvey Schubert Barer Visiting Professor of Asian Law, described the work of Japanese NGOs, especially the role played by the national bar association, and the significance of UN treaty monitoring in Japan.

Can Japan deliver real guarantees for the fundamental human rights proclaimed by its laws? Recent developments suggest cause for hope. In the latest round of an ongoing battle to enforce international norms in Japan, lawyers and activists presented a powerful case before the UN Human Rights Committee. Their work led to October 2008 comments from the Committee criticizing Japan’s failures to take action to remedy several longstanding human rights problems.

An alumnus of the Law School, Professor Repeta teaches at Omiya Law School, Japan, and has practiced law and conducted research in the United States and Japan since 1979. He is also the founding director of Information Clearinghouse Japan, an NGO devoted to promoting open government in Japan. The focus of his advocacy and research is transparency in government, and he is an expert on matters of privacy, security and freedom of information.

Japanese Partnerships on Sustainable Development in Asia

The Center is actively engaged in important partnerships in Japan with lawyers and legal institutions supporting legal reform in Asia. A number of Asian Law Center Japanese alumni are now leaders in the fields of Asian law, development and legal technical assistance in Japan, including Judge Masahiro Iseki (ret) (LL.M. ‘70), Professor and attorney Toshiro Ueyanagi (LL.M. ’90) and Japan International Cooperation Agency lawyer, Yoichi Shio (LL.M. '04).

In 2008 the Center expanded key partnerships with colleagues at Kobe University and with the Center for Asian Legal Exchange at Nagoya University. Both Asian Law Center Director Veronica Taylor and Professor Jon Eddy were Visiting Professors at Kobe during 2008, teaching Law and Development and Asian Law courses--Taylor at the Faculty of Law and Eddy at Kobe’s Faculty of International Development Studies. In 2009-10, the Center hosts a reciprocal year-long research visit by Professor Yuka Kaneko from Kobe University, a rising star among Japanese scholars focused on Asia, law and development.

Veronica Taylor spent part of her 2008 sabbatical as Visiting Professor at Nagoya University’s Center for Asian Legal Exchange. This visit yielded a joint collaboration on a conference in March 2009 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to launch a Comparative Law Association in Cambodia.

Ishida (Ph.D. '06) Appointed as a Faculty Member at Waseda University

Dr. Kyoko Ishida

We congratulate Dr. Kyoko Ishida (Ph.D. '06), who was recently appointed to the faculty of Waseda University, after serving as a Research Associate at Waseda University Institute of Comparative Law. Her dissertation on 'Japanese Lawyers and Japanese Justice – Ethics and Regulations of Japanese Lawyers in a New Century' examines the ethical standards and regulation of various professionals other than attorneys (bengoshi) licensed to provide certain legal services in Japan, and the implications for access to justice in Japan. Ishida is active in several legal sociology research projects in Japan and is developing ground-breaking follow-on research in the areas of access to justice.

International Law and Regulatory Change Workshop: New Models for Japan and China

This public workshop, held at the University of Washington School of Law in January 2009, brought together Japan and China specialists to assess the role of international law and regulatory change in shaping the continuing economic transformation of these two Asian countries. The workshop featured case studies by Professors Saadia Pekkanen (Jackson School / ALC), Jane Winn, Dongsheng Zang and Veronica Taylor and commentary by leading international trade specialists Professor Henry Gao (Hong Kong U / NUS) and Amelia Porges (Sidley Austin, DC). The workshop was co-sponsored by the University of Washington School of Law Asian Law Center, University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies Japan Studies and China Studies Programs, University of Washington Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professorship, and The American Society of Law - International Economic Law Interest Group.

Veronica Taylor Appointed Chair of the Japan Foundation American Advisory Committee

Professor Veronica Taylor

Professor Taylor has been appointed as the Chair of the Japan Foundation American Advisory Committee. The Japan Foundation, funded primarily by the Japanese government, is the leading organization worldwide supporting research and language education relating to Japan. The University of Washington is one of ten universities in the United States originally endowed with Japan Foundation funds to create pre-eminent Japanese studies programs.

Law Through Global Eyes Lecture Series: Parental Child Abduction to Japan: Prospects for Change?

On November 7, 2008, Professor Colin Jones from Doshisha University Law School, Kyoto, Japan, discussed current issues involved in seeking the return of children from Japan. Japan, unlike more than 75 countries that have agreed to return children abducted to another country by one parent in violation of custody arrangements, is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Recently, Japan announced its plans to join the Convention as early as 2010. Prof. Jones examined what changes the Hague Convention might bring about.

Professor Jones graduated from UC Berkeley and received his J.D. from Duke University Law School. After working at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett LLP and other law firms, he joined the Doshisha University Law School to teach American torts, contracts and business law.

Professor Lawrence Repeta Named 2008-09 Garvey Schubert Barer Visiting Professor in Asian Law

Professor Lawrence Repeta

During the 2008-09 academic year, Garvey Schubert Barer Visiting Professor Lawrence Repeta teamed with Veronica Taylor to teach Japanese Law, and offered a new course in comparative constitutional law . An alumnus of the Law School, Professor Repeta teaches at Omiya Law School, Japan, and has practiced law and conducted research in the United States and Japan since 1979. He is also the founding director of Information Clearinghouse Japan, an NGO devoted to promoting open government in Japan. The focus of his advocacy and research is transparency in government, and he is an expert on matters of privacy, security and freedom of information.

"Law in Japan: A Turning Point" Published as Part of the UW Press Asian Law Series

Congratulations to Daniel H. Foote, University of Tokyo Professor of Law and former Asian Law Center Professor 1988-2000 on the publication of Law in Japan: A Turning Point (2008) as part of the UW Press Asian Law Series. The comprehensive volume, edited by Professor Foote and Asian Law Center staff, includes contributions from several UW Law School faculty and alumni. It explores major developments in Japanese law over the latter half of the twentieth century and looks ahead to the future. Modeled on the classic work Law in Japan: The Legal Order in a Changing Society (1963), edited by Arthur Taylor von Mehren, it features the work of thirty-five leading legal experts on most of the major fields of Japanese law, with special attention to the increasingly important areas of environmental law, health law, intellectual property, and insolvency. It is the only volume to take inventory of the key areas of Japanese law and their development since the 1960s, and has already become an important reference tool and starting point for research on the Japanese legal system.

Global Business Courses Focus on Japan

Professors Rick Guineee and John (Jody) Chafee

Japan remains at the forefront of Asian Law Center teaching and research. Professor John (Jody) Chafee and Professor Rick Guinee continue to offer their International Contracting course in response to strong student demand. This course provides practical experience in drafting and negotiating international agreements through team negotiation with counterpart teams of Japanese law students. The course takes advantage of the technologically-advanced William Gates Hall by video-conferencing with Professor Daniel Foote and law students at the University of Tokyo. Professors Guinee and Chafee have also piloted a new course in International Mergers and Acquisitions utilizing a practicum approach. The course follows a hypothetical business transaction between a Japanese company and a U.S. company, from its earliest stages through to its closing. Here as well, the majority of class sessions are video-conferenced with a class of students in Japan.

Takenaka Continues to Lead Comparative Intellectual Property Education

Professor Toshiko Takenaka

Professor Toshiko Takenaka, Washington Research Foundation Simpson Professor in Technology Law and Director of the Center for Advanced Study & Research on Intellectual Property (CASRIP), continues to teach annually as a Visiting Professor at Waseda University Law School in Tokyo. She also taught comparative intellectual property, competition policy and U.S. and Japan patent law at the University of Tokyo and at the Osaka Institute of Technology summer schools. Under her direction, CASRIP joined the Research Center for the Legal System of Intellectual Property of Waseda Law School in sponsoring an international innovation policy conference in Tokyo in December 2006 and a transnational intellectual property seminar and conference held at Waseda Law School in March 2007. Professor Takenaka remains a featured speaker before groups in the United States, Italy, and Asia, including at Hokkaido University, the Institute of Innovation Research at Hitotsubashi University, Keio University, Tokyo Medical Dental University, National Yunlin University in Taiwan, Seoul National University, the Japan IP High Court, the Korean Institute of Intellectual Property and IP and patent associations in Japan and Korea.

Under her directorship, the CASRIP annual summer institute continues to draw more than 60 participants from Asia, Europe, and the United States and includes representatives from Hitachi, Bayer A.G., Toshiba, the Max Planck Institute, the courts, and patent offices in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Professor Takenaka has organized the summer institute since 1994. The institute culminates in the High Technology Protection Summit Conference, a two-day program that brings together experts from around the world to discuss cutting-edge legal issues in intellectual property law.

Rob Britt, The Gallagher Law Library Japanese Legal Materials Specialist, Celebrates 20 Years at the Library

Rob Britt with Visiting Japanese Students

Rob Britt, The Gallagher Law Library Japanese Legal Materials Specialist, celebrated his 20-year anniversary at the library in July 2007. Typically (and suitably), at the time he was off representing the Library in Australia -- making presentations on Japanese legal research and doing a professional evaluation of the Japanese law collection at the University of Melbourne. In addition to performing excellent work on Japanese collection development, cataloging, reference, web work and teaching, in recent years Rob has been active in the Council on East Asian Libraries (CEAL) and the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC).

Griffith Way (J.D. ’48, LL.M. ’68) Honored with the Order of the Rising Sun by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan

In spring of 2007, an imperial honor was awarded to alumnus Griffith Way (J.D. ’48, LL.M. ’68) in recognition of his long-standing support to increase economic and cultural development between the United States and Japan. Way, who this year celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first graduating class of LL.M. in Japanese law in 1968, received the coveted Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, from Kazuo Tanaka, Consul General of Japan in Seattle. For over 40 years, Way spent about six months each year in Asia as a practicing attorney in association with the Tokyo law firm of Blakemore & Mitsuki, and was instrumental in bringing Japan into the Washington State International Trade Fair in 1957. In 1990, with Thomas Blakemore and his wife Frances, Way helped establish the Blakemore Foundation where he continues to this day to strengthen American and Japanese ties.

Judge Masahiro Iseki (LL.M. ‘70) Awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star by Emperor of Japan

Judge Masahiro Iseki

In winter 2007, retired Judge Masahiro Iseki (LL.M. ‘70) was awarded an imperial honor by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan in recognition of their distinguished careers and public service and was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star, for his judicial work. Judge Iseki was one of the law school’s earliest LL.M. graduates from Japan. He had a distinguished career in the Japanese judiciary, culminating in his work as a presiding judge on the Osaka High Court. His expertise in law and the judicial system extends beyond Japan, and although officially retired, he continues to provide technical legal expertise to Asian nations such as Vietnam on behalf of the Japan International Development Agency. Judge Iseki also continues to teach litigation at Kansai University School of Law.

Judge Iseki has been active in the Japanese chapter of the UW Law School Alumni Association. In 2001-02 he returned to the UW as a visiting scholar to teach Japanese law and work with Professor Veronica Taylor. His visit made possible a moot court in Japanese law where students litigated an actual case on appeal to the Osaka High Court before the decision was handed down in Japan.

UW Law School Alumni Association Japan Chapter Formalizes

Renewed energy of our Japanese alumni culminated to formalize the Japan Chapter as our first formally constituted alumni association outside the United States. Law School alumni in Japan have met regularly in the past under the leadership of Tasuku Matsuo (LL.M.’69), and in June 2006 gathered in Osaka and Tokyo to launch the Japan Chapter of the UW Law School Alumni Association. They were joined by faculty alumnae Professor Veronica Taylor (LL.M. ’92), Professor Toshiko Takenaka (LL.M. ’90, Ph.D. ’92) and Professor Jonathan Kang.

Attendees expressed a strong interest in supporting potential applicants to the law school as well as providing opportunities for them to interact with their fellow alumni when they return to Japan. The new chapter also wants to inform practitioners and legal scholars on opportunities for advanced training at the Seattle campus and develop a wide range of programs, activities, and events in Japan. As Professor Taylor observed “our international alumni form one of the law school’s most valuable assets, and our Japanese alumni are our largest group of graduates outside the United States. We are committed to partnering with our alumni colleagues in Japan to strengthen the UW profile among promising students, practitioners, and academic colleagues.”

Much of the preparatory work for the meeting was done by Professor Takenaka who serves on the Japan Alumni Association Organizing Committee with Katsuya Natori (LL.M. ’90)(chair), Takamitsu Shigetomi (LL.M.’03) Yoriko Noma (LL.M. ’92), Yuki Terazawa (LL.M. ’99), and Tomohito Ihara (CASRIP Research Fellow’96)(Secretary).

Japan Law Research Workshop: New Directions in Japanese Law

Professor John with former students and UW alums

In October 2005, the Asian Law Center hosted a three day invitational workshop New Directions in Japanese Law for twenty colleagues in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe working on Japanese Law. Workshop participants presented work in progress and unpublished papers on issues ranging from commercial, criminal, and constitutional law in Japan to Japanese legal education and practice.

The workshop brought together many UWLS alums, including Professor John Haley (LL.M. ’71) and former students who followed suit in academia, such as Kyoko Ishida (LL.M. ’06, Ph.D. 2006); Leon Wolf (LL.M. ’96), Lawrence Repeta (J.D. ‘79), Mark Levin (LL.M ’90), Tay-sheng Wang (LL.M. ’90, Ph.D. ’92), Veronica Taylor (LL.M. ’92); Toshiko Takenaka (LL.M. ’90, Ph.D. ’92); and Jody Chafee (J.D. ’91).

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