Commemorating Prof Dr Harald Baum’s 25-Year General Editorship of the Journal of Japanese Law

[Foreword forthcoming in Issue 50 of the Journal of Japanese Law]

The wonderful Journal of Japanese Law (ZJapanR/J.Japan.L.) has provided inspiration world-wide, even to antipodeans from its earliest days. Prof Harald Baum supported and befriended me since the early 1990s at Kyoto University, where he was on a research sabbatical from Hamburg and I was studying for the LLM and the first part of a PhD. He was researching and editing a comprehensive Handbuch on Japanese business law (published in 1994) thatincluded a selective and carefully-structured bibliography of works in German. We collaborated in developing a bibliography of works in English, published in 1997 after I returned to New Zealand, with ZJapanR/J.Japan.L.’s Issue 3 reproducing a section on “Finding Japanese on the Internet” (such a new technology at that time!).[1] We then combined and expanded these resources into a detailed Bibliography published in 1998 in the United States (with a second edition in 2013).[2] The ZJapanR/J.Japan.L. has continued to publish bibliographies curated by experts to assist academic and other researchers, even (or perhaps especially) in this age of digital information. An example is a bibliography in ZJapanR/J.Japan.L.’s immediate past issue (No 49) surveying scholarship on gender and Japanese law.[3]

This early collaboration with Harald made me realise early on just how much high-quality and wide-ranging research relating to Japanese law was being published in German, English and even other Western languages in various places, including the new ZJapanR/J.Japan.L. Harald and the Journal also generously supported the Australian Network for Japanese Law (ANJeL), when it was created in 2002 by the law schools at Australian National University (ANU), the University of Sydney and a third university in Australia (currently the Queensland University of Technology).[4] Harald became a founding member of ANJeL’s advisory board and helped the DJJV become an ANJeL affiliate. He also kindly invited myself and Prof Kent Anderson (then at ANU, now Higher Education advisor to Australia’s Education Minister) onto the ZJapanR/J.Japan.L. editorial board.

ANJeL helped source potential contributions to the Journal, including occasionally some excellent research papers by Honours or other senior or former students from Australia, significantly helping their careers as well as providing useful perspectives for readers. ZJapanR/J.Japan.L. also published mini-issues, such as some papers for Issue 12 from my conference at the University of Victoria in Canada on “the multiple worlds of Japanese law” (2001), and papers for Issue 34 (2012) from ANJeL’s conference in Asia-Pacific disaster management.[5] Harald made it possible as well to reproduce some ZJapanR/J.Japan.L. material on ANJeL’s website. This helped raise the visibility of the Journal worldwide, but also the new Network, which now brings together over 500 academics, practitioners and others interested in Japanese law not only based in Australia and Japan but also in Germany and other parts of Europe as well as across Asia. ZJapanR/J.Japan.L.’s past issue and this one (No 50) include some papers from an ANJeL conference with and at the University of Pavia, charting and comparing the promising expansion of Japanese law scholarship throughout Europe nowadays.[6] Harald also kindly ensured that a brief activities report on ANJeL was included along with DJJV news in pamphlets sent out with issues of the Journal to its readers. Without all these links to the ZJapanR/J.Japan.L. facilitated by Harald, ANJeL would have had far less impact, so I would like to formally thank him (and Journal colleagues) for this long and fruitful collaboration.

I also express my immense gratitude for Harald’s untiring efficiency and always encouraging good humour in the time-consuming role as general editor over the last quarter century. He did so much more than for most other Journals I have helped or been associated with, where there are often now several general or senior editors given the growing demands associated with managing a reputable academic journal. Harald managed to minimise calls on editorial board members, while using us effectively when needed for reviews or advice, and always produced the goods. I was always excited to receive, like clockwork every six months, the next ZJapanR/J.Japan.L. issue, and I always found many things to read and learn about. Other Japan-specific law journals have fallen by the wayside, but the ZJapanR/J.Japan.L. is an invaluable resource and hope the new general editor and associated colleagues can maintain Harald’s legacy for at least another 25 years.

[1] Harald Baum and Luke Nottage, “Annotated Select Bibliography of Japanese Business Law in Western Languages”, Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 1997, 121-174; “Finding Japanese Law on the Internet: A Sample Odyssey”, ZJapanR/J.Japan.L. 3 (1997) 45-46.

[2] Harald Baum and Luke Nottage, Japanese Business Law in Western Languages: An Annotated Selective Bibliography (Rothman, 1998; 2nd ed Hein, 2013 co-authored also with Joel Rheuben and Markus Their).

[3] By Mark A. Levin and Kallista Hiraoka: see the foreword to the mini-issue by Leon Wolff and others, at

[4] For its new website, see

[5] These included versions of papers developed for a book, as well as other complementary papers: Luke Nottage, Hitoshi Nasu and Simon Butt (eds), Asia Pacific Disaster Management: Comparative and Socio-Legal Perspectives(Springer, 2013), with a version of the introductory chapter freely available at

[6] For conference presentation abstracts and themes, see