Washington International Law Journal


Andrew Marcuse


The statutory language of Japan's 1994 Products Liability Act envisions a strict liability regime that would replace the previous negligence-based regime. This Comment reviews the development of the previous products liability regime, then analyzes the 1994 Products Liability Act in relation to Civil Code articles 415, 570, and 709 as well as EC Directive 85/374, and the 1975 Draft Model Law on Products Liability. The Comment concludes that because the 1994 Products Liability Act incorporates the Civil Code articles and their judicial interpretations, without addressing any of several structural and procedural barriers to suit, the 1994 Products Liability Act cannot and will not impose strict liability on manufacturers.

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