Japan’s Maritime Law Reform in an International and Regional Context

Souichirou Kozuka


The reform of maritime and transport law has been on the legislative agenda in Japan since a few years. First codified in 1899 as part of the Commercial Code, the Japanese maritime and transport law is the oldest in Asia. However, it has remained as originally enacted with only minimal amendments for more than a century, and is now one of the most outdated maritime laws in the region. During the last two decades, the People’s Republic of China enacted its Maritime Law in 1993, Vietnam made a comprehensive reform of its maritime law in 2005, and more recently, the Republic of Korea amended its maritime law in 2008. It was no longer possible for Japan to neglect modernising its maritime and transport law.

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