Research Handbook on International Insurance Law and Regulation
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Research Handbook on International Insurance Law and Regulation

Edited by Julian Burling and Kevin Lazarus

Given its economic importance, insurance is a field that has been underserved as an area of academic study. This detailed book provides much needed coverage of insurance law and regulation in its international context.
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Chapter 29: Japan: The Insurance Concept in the Insurance Act and the Insurance Business Act

Seiichi Ochiai, Shinichi Takahashi and Ryoko Takeda


Seiichi Ochiai, Shinichi Takahashi and Ryoko Takeda 1. INTRODUCTION The concept of ‘insurance’ (hoken) in Japan has recently been a much debated subject. There are three main reasons for this. First, since the coming into force of the Insurance Act of Japan (Law No. 56 of 2008) on 1 April 2010, there has been a debate as to the scope of the Act and the extent to which certain types of insurance arrangements fall within its provisions, with their mandatory contract clauses. Second, the concept of insurance business has been the subject of attention in the context of the Insurance Business Act of Japan (Law No. 105 of 1995) (the ‘IBA’), a supervisory legislation for insurance businesses. In particular, until 2005, mutual aid businesses (kyosai)1 (except for some types of mutual aid business (‘regulated kyosai’) established and regulated under specific individual legislation other than the IBA) fell outside the supervisory control of the IBA and as such were unregulated. The IBA was amended in 2005 to bring these mutual aid businesses within the scope of insurance businesses governed by that Act. Finally, the concept of insurance has been the subject of interest in respect of various types of risk transfer schemes, where a number of practical legal issues have arisen. Among such schemes is alternative risk transfer (ART). As ART arrangements frequently operate as an alternative to insurance but fulfill much the same function, it can often arise as an issue as to whether or not such...

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