Law, Public Policy and Economics in Japan and Australia: Reviewing Bilateral Relations and Commercial Regulation in 2009

This is the grand title of a modest Sydney Law School Research Paper (No 09/71) updating and editing another collection of my blog postings both here and on the East Asia Forum. Freely downloadable via, it is based mainly on developments from the end of 2008 through to mid-2009.
Many topics are important not only within Australia and Japan, but also potentially for bilateral relations (for example, as novel dimensions to the FTA or ‘Economic Partnership Agreement’ already under negotiation between these two countries). Several topics (for example, the state of economics as a discipline after the GFC, neo-communitarian perspectives on comparative law and society, the legacy of the post-War Occupation of Japan) also address more broadly how we should (re)conceptualise law, economics and public policy particularly in the Asia-Pacific context.

As in my survey of developments over 2008, readers can work through these topics sequentially, as I tried to link them to previous postings and therefore create a ‘chain novel’ narrative effect. But readers may prefer to jump around the topics in their own order of interest, especially as some postings were uploaded initially in response to particular developments (such as announcements for major consumer law and then arbitration law reforms in Australia, both topical also in Japan and beyond).
Here is the list of topics/headings edited in this paper (with dates of the original postings, and an asterisk if also or only on the East Asia Forum blog):
1. More visitors to Japan – Is it me, or Kyoto? (23 November 2008)*
2. Traffic rules and alcohol regulation in Japan (29 November 2008)*
3. Deregulation Japan-style: on the (local) grog (15 January 2009)*
4. Whalergate, or a way forward? (31 January 2009)*
5. Japanese Law in English through the Internet: Take Two (20 March 2009)
6. Australia’s lethargic law reform: how (not) to revive consumer spending (25 March 2009)*
7. Australia’s less lethargic law reform? International arbitration in the Asia-Pacific (21 April 2009)*
8. Responsible consumer lending rules for Australia too: Submission on the National Consumer Credit Protection Bill (11 May 2009)
9. Australia and Japan as America’s deputies – in multilateralism? (12 May 2009)*
10. Neoclassical and Chicago School economics keeps coming to Japan(ese law) (6 June 2009)
11. Possibilities and pitfalls in laws affecting children of Australian and Japanese parents (12 June 2009)
12. Multicultural Japan? Policy, law and society (26 June 2009)
13. Australia, social justice and labour reform in Occupation Japan (5 July 2009)
14. Who defends Japan? Government lawyers and judicial system reform in Japan and Australia (13 July 2009)
15. Law and community: A critical reassessment of American liberalism and Japanese modernity (19 July 2009)
Appendix: Birth (and transfiguration?) of an anti-whaling discourse (1 February 2009)

Author: Luke Nottage

Prof Luke Nottage (BCA, LLB, PhD VUW, LLM LLD Kyoto) is founding co-director of the Australian Network for Japanese Law (ANJeL), Associate Director (Japan) of the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CAPLUS), and Professor of Comparative and Transnational Business Law at Sydney Law School. He specialises in international dispute resolution, foreign investment law, contract and consumer (product safety) law.