Koichi SETOYAMA (School of Law)

  What is law? Why do we have to keep the law? What is Liberty, Equality and Justice in law? All of the answers to these questions vary according to the country and the times. The legal and political systems are closely reflected by the legal culture and legal consciousness of the citizens in each county.
  The primary objective of this course is to provide a framework to understand the characteristics of the Japanese legal and political system and culture by looking into the contemporary legal and political issues in comparison between Japan and other countries. No legal and political background is required. Students’ opinions from the viewpoint of their own countries are expected. Students will be expected to participate actively in classroom discussions.
  Below are some of the topics and issues to be covered in the classes.
  Topics and the order of the issues may be changed after considering the interests of the students.

Course Schedule
1. Introduction: Law in Social Science. Conducting Questionnaires, etc.
2. Basic Structure of the Japanese Legal and Political System: Separation of Power and Rule of Law.
3. Legislative branch (Diet): Houses of Representatives and Councilors; Election System, Political Parties.
4. Judicial branch (Court): District Court, High Court, Supreme Court; Judges; Judicial Review.
5. Executive branch (Cabinet): Government and Bureaucracy System.
6. Sovereignty of the People and Emperor (Japanese Imperial System and Female Throne debate).
7. Constitutional Law: the Renunciation of War (Self-Defense Force), Separation of State and Religion (Prime Minister’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine controversy).
8. Criminal Law: Objectives of Punishment and Capital Punishment (Death Penalty), Japanese Mafia (Yakuza) related crimes.
9. Civil Law (Family Law): Legal Restriction on the contract (Separate Family Name of married couples, etc.)
10. Gender Discrimination and Affirmative Action (Family Law, Labor Law, etc).
11. Local Government (Prefectural Assembly) and Ordinance (Local Regulations): Teenage Prostitution, so-called “Enjo Kosai”. (Legal Paternalism and the Right of Self Decision-making).
12. Japanese Judicial Reform: Legal Education and Professionals (Bar Examination, new Law School system, etc.).
13. Equal Treatment and Discrimination issue: Nationality lawsuit by a resident Korean, Same Sex Marriage, Suffrage of resident Foreigners (Social Norm and the Rights of the Minority and Foreigners).
14. Rights Consciousness and Legal Culture in Japan (Sociology of Law): Law in action.

Field Work
  Visiting Osaka Prefectural Government Office and Assembly is planned as a field trip.

  There is no assigned textbook. Various reading materials and references will be distributed in each class.

  Grades will be based on attendance and participation in class as well as a report and papers to be submitted.
  (1) Class attendance (including class assignments): 30%
  (2) Participation in the class discussion: 5%
  (3) Report of the Field Trip: 5%
  (4) Two short papers: 60%

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