Friday, June 21, 2013

Civil Code of Japan

Civil Code (Part I, Part II, and Part III)

(Act No. 89 of April 27, 1896)

Part I General Provisions
Chapter I Common Provisions

(Fundamental Principles)
Article 1  (1) Private rights must conform to the public welfare.
(2) The exercise of rights and performance of duties must be done in good faith.
(3) No abuse of rights is permitted.

(Standard for Construction)
Article 2  This Code must be construed in accordance with honoring the dignity of individuals and the essential equality of both sexes.

Chapter II Person
Section 1 Capacity to Hold Rights

Article 3  (1) The enjoyment of private rights shall commence at birth.
(2) Unless otherwise provided by applicable laws, regulations or treaties, foreign nationals shall enjoy private rights.

Section 2 Capacity to Act

(Age of Majority)
Article 4  The age of majority is reached when a person has reached the age of 20.

(Juristic Act of Minors)
Article 5  (1) A minor must obtain the consent of his/her statutory agent to perform any juristic act; provided, however, that, this shall not apply to an act merely intended to acquire a right or to be relieved of a duty.
(2) A juristic act in contravention of the provision of the preceding paragraph may be rescinded.
(3) Notwithstanding the provision of paragraph (1), in cases the statutory agent permits the disposition of property by specifying the purpose thereof, a minor may freely dispose of the same to the extent of such purpose. The same shall apply in cases his/her statutory agent permits the disposition of the property without specifying any purpose.

(Permission for Minors to Carry on Business)
Article 6  (1) A minor who is permitted to carry on one or more kinds of business shall have the same capacity to act as a person of the age of majority as far as such business is concerned.
(2) In the case set forth in the preceding paragraph, if the minor may be unable to perform the relevant business for any reason, his/her statutory agent may revoke or limit permission in accordance with the provisions of Part IV (Relatives).

(Ruling for Commencement of Guardianship)
Article 7  With respect to any person who constantly lacks the capacity to discern right and wrong due to mental disability, the family court may order the commencement of guardianship at the request of the person in question, his/her spouse, any relative within the fourth degree of kinship, the guardian of a minor, the supervisor of the guardian of a minor, the curator, the supervisor of the curator, the assistant, the supervisor of the assistant, or a public prosecutor.

(Adult Ward and Guardian of Adult)
Article 8  A person who has become subject to the ruling of commencement of guardianship shall be an adult ward, and a guardian of an adult shall be appointed for him/her.

(Juristic Act of an Adult Ward under Guardianship)
Article 9  A juristic act performed by an adult ward may be rescinded; provided, however, that, this shall not apply to any act relating to daily life, such as the purchase of daily household items.

(Rescission of Ruling for Commencement of Guardianship)
Article 10  When the cause set forth in Article 7 ceases to exist, the family court must rescind the ruling of the commencement of guardianship at the request of the person in question, his/her spouse, any relative within the fourth degree of kinship, the guardian (hereinafter referring to the guardian of a minor and the guardian of an adult), the supervisor of the guardian (hereinafter referring to the supervisor of the guardian of a minor and the supervisor of the guardian of an adult), or a public prosecutor.

(Ruling of Commencement of Curatorship)
Article 11  With respect to any person who whose capacity is extremely insufficient to appreciate right or wrong due to any mental disability, the family court may order the commencement of curatorship upon a request by the person in question, his/her spouse, any relative within the fourth degree of kinship, the guardian, the supervisor of the guardian, the assistant, the supervisor of the assistant, or a public prosecutor; provided however, that, this shall not apply to any person in respect of whom a cause set forth in Article 7 exists.

(Person under Curatorship and his/her Curator)
Article 12  A person who has become subject to the ruling of commencement of curatorship shall be the person under curatorship, and a curator shall be appointed for him/her.

(Acts Requiring Consent of Curator)
Article 13  (1) A person under curatorship must obtain the consent of his/her curator if he/she intends to perform any of the following acts; provided, however, that, this shall not apply to the acts provided for in the proviso of Article 9:
(i) receive or use any principal;
(ii) borrow any money or guarantee any obligation;
(iii) perform any act with the purpose of obtaining or relinquishing any right regarding real estate or other valuable property;
(iv) take any procedural action;
(v) make a gift, make any settlement, or agree to arbitrate (referring to the agreement to arbitrate as provided in paragraph (1), Article 2 of the Arbitration Act (Act No. 138 of 2003));
(vi) accept or renounce any inheritance, or partition any estate;
(vii) refuse an offer of a gift, renounce any bequest, accept the offer of gift with burden, or accept any bequest with burden;
(viii) effect any new construction, renovation, expansion, or major repairs; or
(ix) make any lease agreement with a term which exceeds the period set forth in Article 602.
(2) At the request of the person provided in the main clause of Article 11, or any curator or any supervisor of the curator, the family court may make a ruling that the person under curatorship must obtain the consent of his/her curator even in cases he/she intends to perform any act other than those set forth in each item of the preceding paragraph; provided, however, that this shall not apply to the acts provided for in the proviso to Article 9.
(3) With respect to any act which requires the consent of the curator, if the curator does not give consent in cases where the interest of the person under curatorship is unlikely to be prejudiced, the family court may, at the request of the person under curatorship, give permission in lieu of the consent of the curator.
(4) An act which requires the consent of the curator may be rescinded if it was performed without such consent or any permission in lieu thereof.

(Rescission of Ruling of Commencement of Curatorship)
Article 14  (1) When the cause provided in the main clause of Article 11 ceases to exist, the family court must rescind the order of the commencement of curatorship at the request of the person in question, his/her spouse, any relative within the fourth degree of kinship, the guardian of a minor, the supervisor of the guardian of a minor, the curator, the supervisor of the curator, or a public prosecutor.
(2) At the request of the person prescribed in the preceding paragraph, the family court may rescind, in whole or in part, the ruling under paragraph (2) of the preceding Article.

(Ruling of Commencement of Assistance)
Article 15  (1) With respect to any person who has insufficient capacity to appreciate right or wrong due to any mental disability, the family court may rule the commencement of assistance upon a request by the person in question, his/her spouse, any relative within the fourth degree of kinship, the guardian, the supervisor of the guardian, the curator, the supervisor of the curator, or a public prosecutor; provided, however, that, this shall not apply to any person who has the cause set forth in Article 7 or the main clause of Article 11.
(2) The ruling of commencement of assistance at the request of any person other than the person in question shall require the consent of the person in question.
(3) The ruling of commencement of assistance must be made concurrent with the ruling under paragraph (1) of Article 17 or the ruling under paragraph (1) of Article 876-9.

(Person under Assistance and Assistant)
Article 16  A person who has become subject to the ruling of commencement of assistance shall be a person under assistance, and an assistant shall be appointed for him/her.

(Ruling Requiring Person to Obtain Consent of Assistant)
Article 17  (1) At the request of the person provided in the main clause of paragraph (1) of Article 15, or any assistant or supervisor of the assistant, the family court may make the ruling that the person under assistance must obtain the consent of his/her assistant if he/she intends to perform any particular juristic act; provided, however, that the act for which such consent must be obtained pursuant to such ruling shall be limited to the acts provided in paragraph (1) of Article 13.
(2) The ruling set forth in the preceding paragraph at the request of any person other than the person in question shall require the consent of the person in question.
(3) With respect to any act which requires the consent of the assistant, if the assistant does not give consent in cases where the interest of the person under assistance is unlikely to be prejudiced, the family court may, at the request of the person under assistance, give permission which is in lieu of the consent of the assistant.
(4) An act which requires the consent of the assistant may be rescinded if it was performed without such consent or any permission in lieu thereof.

(Rescission of Ruling of Commencement of Assistance)
Article 18  (1) When the cause provided in the main clause of paragraph (1) of Article 15 ceases to exist, the family court must rescind the ruling of commencement of assistance at the request of the person in question, his/her spouse, any relative within the fourth degree of kinship, the guardian of a minor, the supervisor of the guardian of a minor, the assistant, the supervisor of the assistant, or a public prosecutor.
(2) At the request of the person prescribed in the preceding paragraph, the family court may rescind, in whole or in part, the ruling under paragraph (1) of the preceding Article.
(3) In cases the ruling under paragraph (1) of the preceding Article and the order under paragraph (1) of Article 876-9 are to be rescinded in their entirety, the family court must rescind the ruling of commencement of assistance.

(Relationship between Rulings)
Article 19  (1) In cases any ruling for commencement of guardianship is to be made, and the person in question is a person under curatorship or the person under assistance, the family court must rescind the ruling of commencement of curatorship or commencement of assistance pertaining to such person in question.
(2) The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis in cases where the person in question, upon ruling of commencement of curatorship, is an adult ward or a person under assistance, or in cases where the person in question is, at the time of the ruling for commencement of assistance, an adult ward or a person under curatorship.

(Right of Demand by Person who is Counterparty to Person with Limited Capacity)
Article 20  (1) The person who is the counterparty to a person with limited capacity (hereinafter referring to any minor, an adult ward, a person under curatorship, and a person under assistance who has become subject to the ruling under paragraph (1) of Article 17) may, after such person with limited capacity has become a person with capacity (hereinafter referring to a person free of any limitation on capacity to act), issue to such person a notice which demands, by establishing a certain period which is one month or more, that he/she should give a definite answer on whether or not such person will ratify such act which may be rescinded within such period. In such case, if such person fails to send any definite answer within such period, he/she is deemed to have ratified such act.
(2) The second sentence of the preceding paragraph shall likewise apply in cases where, while such person with limited capacity has not yet become a person with capacity, the person who is the counterparty to the person with limited capacity issues to the statutory agent, curator, or assistant of such person a notice prescribed in the preceding paragraph with respect to any act which is under the authority of any such officer, and the statutory agent, curator or assistant fails to issue any definite answer within the period referred to in such paragraph.
(3) With respect to any act which requires any special formalities, if no notice to the effect that the perfection of such formalities has been completed is issued within the period set forth in the preceding two paragraphs, it is deemed that such act has been rescinded.
(4) The person who is the counterparty to a person with limited capacity may issue a notice to any person under curatorship, or to any person under assistance who has been made subject to the ruling under paragraph (1) of Article 17 which demands that he/she should obtain the ratification of his/her curator or assistant, as the case may be, within the period set forth in paragraph (1) above. In such case, if the person under curatorship or person under assistance fails to issue, within the applicable period, a notice to the effect that such ratification has been obtained, it is deemed that such act has been rescinded.

(Fraudulent Means Committed by Person with Limited Capacity)
Article 21  If a person with limited capacity manipulates any fraudulent means to induce others to believe that he/she is a person with capacity, his/her act may not be rescinded.

Section 3 Domicile

(Domicile)
Article 22  The principal place wherein a person lives shall be his/her domicile.

(Residence)
Article 23  (1) If the domicile of a person is unknown, his/her residence is deemed to be his/her domicile.
(2) If a person does not have the domicile in Japan, his/her residence is deemed to be his/her domicile, whether he/she is a Japanese or a foreign national; provided, however, that, this shall not apply where the law of domicile controls in accordance with the applicable provision of laws which provide the governing law.

(Temporary Domicile)
Article 24  If any temporary domicile is selected for any act, such temporary domicile is deemed to be the domicile as far as such act is concerned.

Section 4 Management of Absentee Property and Adjudication of Disappearance

(Administration of Absentee Property)
Article 25  (1) In cases any person who has left his/her domicile or residence (hereinafter referred to as "absentee") did not appoint an administrator of his/her property (hereinafter in this Section referred to simply as "administrator"), the family court may, at the request of any interested person or a public prosecutor, issue an order for necessary actions for the administration of such property. The same shall apply in cases the authority of the administrator ceases to exist during the absence of the absentee.
(2) If, after the issuance of the order pursuant to the provision of the preceding paragraph, the absentee appoints an administrator, the family court must rescind the order at the request of his/her administrator, any interested person, or a public prosecutor.

(Replacement of Administrator)
Article 26  In cases an absentee appoints an administrator, and if it is not clear whether such absentee is dead or alive, the family court may replace such administrator with another at the request of any interested person or a public prosecutor.

(Duties of Administrator)
Article 27  (1) An administrator who is appointed by the family court pursuant to the provision of the preceding two Articles must prepare a list of the property he/she is to administer. In such case, the expenses incurred shall be disbursed from the property of the absentee.
(2) In cases it is not clear whether an absentee is dead or alive, if so requested by any interested person or a public prosecutor, the family court may also order the administrator appointed by the absentee to prepare the list set forth in the preceding paragraph.
(3) In addition to provisions of the preceding two paragraphs, the family court may issue an order to the administrator to effect any action which the court may find to be necessary for the preservation of the property of the absentee.

(Authority of Administrator)
Article 28  If an administrator needs to perform any act beyond the authority set forth in Article 103, he/she may perform such act by obtaining the permission of the family court. The same shall likewise apply if the administrator needs to perform any act beyond the authority stipulated by the absentee in cases it is not clear whether the absentee is dead or alive.

(Provision of Security by and Remuneration for Administrator)
Article 29  (1) The family court may require an administrator to provide reasonable security with respect to the administration and return of the property.
(2) The family court may grant reasonable remuneration to the administrator from the property of the absentee with due regard to the relationship between the administrator and absentee and other circumstances.

(Adjudication of Disappearance)
Article 30  (1) If it is not clear whether the absentee is dead or alive for 7 years, the family court may make the adjudication of disappearance at the request of any interested person.
(2) The procedure of the preceding paragraph shall likewise apply with respect to any person who was engaged in any war zone, was aboard any vessel which later sank, or was otherwise exposed to any danger which could be the cause of death, if it is not clear whether such person is dead or alive for one year after the end of the war, after the sinking of the vessel, or after the termination of such other danger, as the case may be.

(Effect of Adjudication of Disappearance)
Article 31  Any person who has become the subject of the adjudication of disappearance pursuant to the provision of paragraph (1) of the preceding Article is deemed to have died upon elapse of the period set forth in such paragraph, and a person who is the subject of the adjudication of disappearance pursuant to the provision of paragraph (2) of the same Article is deemed to have died upon the termination of such danger.

(Rescission of Adjudication of Disappearance)
Article 32  (1) If there is any proof that an absentee is alive, or that he/she died at a time differing from that provided in the preceding Article, the family court must, at the request of the absentee himself/herself or any interested person, rescind the adjudication of disappearance. In such case, the rescission shall not affect the validity of any act which was performed without knowledge after the adjudication of disappearance but before the rescission thereof.


(2) Any person who acquired any property by the adjudication of disappearance shall lose its/his/her right upon rescission thereof; provided, however, that such person shall have the obligation to return such property only to the extent he/she is actually enriched.

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