Washington Law Review


The right to fair hearing in contemporary Japanese administrative law is a tender plant, lacking deep roots in historical tradition, and struggling for survival in a relatively hostile environment, Fair hearing was a concept practically unknown to the administrative law of pre-war Japan, which, taking its cue from German and French law, relied principally, not on the procedural rights of the individual, but rather upon the skill and dedication of administrators for the achievement of efficiency and justice, with only occasional judicial review by the Administrative Court. The Anglo-American maxim that "he who decides must hear" was indeed foreign to most Japanese administrators. After the war, however, Japanese constitutional revision emphasized individual rights and duties, and prescribed many procedural guarantees for the judicial process; at the same time, various regulatory and welfare statutes introduced the Anglo-American concepts of "notice and hearing," or audi alteram partem, into the Japanese administrative process.

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