Concerning the Dialogue between Japanese and French Law

Symposium on Comparative Legal Studies
Japanese and French Law Compared, Lyon, May 10th and 11th 2012

Theme and Objectives

This international symposium adresses the dialogue between Japanese and French jurists. Japanese legal culture has been widely inspired by European legal cultures. When Japan decided to adopt a western-oriented legal system, its first interest was in the French legal system. Academic exchanges between the Japanese and French legal communities started during the second half of the 19th century and Lyon, especially its Law Faculty played a very special role in this process. What has happened 130 years later to these relations between Lyon and Japan? In which direction has the dialogue gone? What about the Japanese-French legal community?

We will start with the roots of the dialogue, with legal history specialists analysing the first scientific exchanges at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Moving forward, the 21th century dialogue will focus on the substantive challenges that jurists have to face nowadays: what about the future of the law of obligations, what about its reform? How can the law of individual persons confront globalization? How does business law challenge the economic and financial crisis? Are there any confrontations between the two countries over supporting legal development in South-East Asia?

Finally, we will see to what point our concerns are common concerns. This may lead us to construct or deconstruct the image of Japanese Law in France and French Law in Japan.


First day – At The Lyon Institute for Political Sciences

Beginning : 8:45 AM

Welcome by Gilles POLLET, Director of Lyon’s Institute of Political Sciences
Opening remarks by Jean-Pascal BASSINO, Director of the Lyon Institute of East Asian Studies
Opening talk by M. Shuji NOGUCHI, Japanese Consul at Lyon

Session 1. The roots of the dialogue – 10:00 AM

Chairman: David DEROUSSIN

Part 1. The first influences of French law in Japan

– Marie S. KIM : Custom and Reason as Sources of Law in Early Meiji Japan
– Dimitri VANOVERBEKE : The System of the Jury in France and in Japan during the Meiji Aerea

Break : 11:00 – 11:15 AM

Part 2. The first institutional exchanges – 11:15 – 13:00 AM

– Béatrice JALUZOT : Tomii and Ume, or the time when the Law Faculty of Lyon educated the Drafters of the Japanese Code
– Catherine FILLON : The Incipit of the Japanese-French House (Maison Franco-Japonaise): Japan and the University of Lyon at the End of the First World War.


Lunch 13:00-14:00 PM

Session 2. Challenges for the 21th Century Law of Obligations, 14:00-16:00 PM

Chairwoman: Stéphanie PORCHY-SIMON

Part 1. The Ongoing Reforms of the Law of Obligations

– Atsushi OMURA : The Reform of the Law of Obligations in Japan
– Satoru TAKENAKA : The Theory of the “cause” seen from Japan
– Yuki SAITO : The Evolution in Personal Guarantor Protection in Japan


Break 16:00-16:15 PM

2nd Part. The Regionalization of the law of contracts 16:15-18:00 PM

– Elise POILLOT: The Influence of Consumer Law on the Law of Obligations, a Consequence of the Regionalization of Contract Law
– Blandine MALLET-BRICOUT: Drafts of European Contract Law, a disturbance for French Reforms of the Law of Obligations ?
– Naoki KANAYAMA: PACL, Principles of Asian Contract Law ?


Cocktail hosted by the City of Lyon

2nd Day – Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon 9:30 PM

Chairman : Pierre MURAT

1st Part. Child Abduction

– Christine BIDAUD-GARON: French Enforcement of the Hague Child Abduction Convention
– Shinichiro HAYAKAWA: Japan’s Accession to the Hague Child Abduction Convention


Break : 11:15 PM

2nd Part. Confronting the Challenge of an Aging Population

– Tadaki MATSUKAWA: Independence or Interdependence between Generations
– Hugues FULCHIRON: Solidarity between Generations


Session 4. Business Law and the Economic Crisis

Chairman : Jean-Philippe HAEHL

– Souichiou KOZUKA: Corporate Governance in Japan: The End of the Story or Special Path ?
– Thierry FAVARIO: The Influence of Globalization on French Corporate Law
– Filali OSMAN: Japan’s Access to International Conventions in the Field of Business Law


Session 5. Globalization and Legal Development

– Yuka KANEKO (written contribution): Accompanying Legal Transformation: Japanese Involvement in Legal and Judicial Reforms in Asia
– Sylvie FERRE-ANDRE: Is there any Dialogue in the Support for Legal Development in the Mekong Basin
– Isabelle GIRAUDOU: From Japanese Judicial Cooperation Programs to Principles of Asian Law: Legal Significance and Legal Scope

Final word

– Atsushi OMURA

Diner offered by the Institute for Comparative Law – Edouard Lambert, University of Lyon 3

3rd Day. Saturday, May 13th

Discovery of the French Beaujolais Region and its Treasures


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