Asbestos Litigation in Japan: Recent Trends and Related Issues

  • Katsumi Matsumoto


In Japan, the initial momentum for asbestos litigation proved slow, but starting in the 1970s, cases began to appear on a sporadic basis, mainly involving damage compensation claims by victims of diseases stemming from occupational exposure to asbestos, holding their employers liable for a failure to fulfill their obligation to implement safeguards, or for acts of tort. Since the Kubota Shock in 2005, several significant asbestos litigations have been filed. These included the Sennan lawsuit against the national government, representing former asbestos factory workers and surviving kin of deceased workers who had been employed by asbestos factories, damage compensation claims against asbestos product manufacturers and distributors to offset the cost of removing asbestos materials from buildings, and claims for compensation for airborne asbestos from asbestos product factories that could create health problems for residents in surrounding neighborhoods, such as the former Kubota Kanzaki factory. To cultivate the basic perspectives that facilitate progress toward a lasting solution to the asbestos problems, it is critically important to clarify in detail the fundamental legal liabilities of private companies and the national government for the harm suffered by the individual victims of asbestos-linked diseases.


National Government Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Malignant Mesothelioma Court Decision Product Liability 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawRitsumeikan UniversityKyotoJapan

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