Published In

Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Subjects

Japan; Jurisprudence; Personal loans; Consumer finance companies; Financial risk; Judgments

Abstract

The Supreme Court of Japan, despite its well-known passive and conservative stance towards constitutional adjudication, occasionally shows quite a creative and liberal attitude. Recently, the Supreme Court of Japan has shown this attitude in its development of pro-consumer jurisprudence involving consumer loan cases. This development is still more noteworthy because the Supreme Court of Japan ignored the legislature's intent to overturn its previous judgments and practically wiped out a statutory provision enacted by the legislature. As a result of this development, millions of consumers could demand refunds from consumer loan companies, and consumer loan companies went into serious financial troubles, triggering massive reorganization of the industry. This article outlines this development in the consumer loan cases, examines how the Supreme Court of Japan accomplished this result, and explores the reason why the Supreme Court of Japan decided to take such a bold action.

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