Washington International Law Journal


Who Rules Japan? is a valuable addition to the literature on Japanese law. Seven substantive chapters explore important recent developments in a wide range of fields. The ten authors—including leading experts in criminal justice, labor law and other fields—all are highly qualified and all have undertaken extensive research. Each of the chapters breaks new ground; and collectively they provide a wealth of new information, new methodological approaches, and new theoretical insights. To summarize briefly, Leon Wolff, Luke Nottage, and Kent Anderson (who also served as editors for the entire volume) begin the book with a thoughtful Preface and Introduction (Chapter 1), in which they set out the overall framework and identify certain unifying themes. Those themes include the impact of reforms that grew out of the 2001 recommendations of the Justice System Reform Council (JSRC), with a special focus on “the extent to which the 2001 reform program has transformed the Japanese state—from an administrative state in which powerful elites ‘ruled’ over the economy, to a judicial state in which citizens participate more freely in public life and the law ‘rules’ over clashes of interests.”

First Page