Qualified acceptance in practice (3)
- Which liquidation process to use?”

By Takuya Murao


In my previous column, I discussed the details of how to proceed with the qualified acceptance process. In this column I will explain the liquidation process, which is at the heart of the qualified acceptance process.


Liquidation methods in the qualified acceptance process

Article 932 of the Civil Code says that assets must be liquidated in the qualified acceptance process by “putting that property to auction”. As this liquidation is limited to the value of the inherited assets that are to be used to meet the repayment obligations in the qualified acceptance process, from the viewpoint of the heirs, there is a risk that the value of the estate to be distributed to them will decrease if the assets are not liquidated for a fair value; therefore, “auction” is required as a process that does not introduce an element of arbitrariness to the liquidation. Any of the estate’s assets may be put to auction, regardless of their type.

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Qualified acceptance in practice (2)
- Key points before and after commencing the qualified acceptance process

By Takuya Murao


In my previous column, I discussed in what circumstances the use of qualified acceptance should be selected. In this column, I would like to talk about the details of how to proceed with the qualified acceptance process.


Contemplating an application to extend the deliberation period

The deliberation period is the period for deciding whether to renounce an inheritance or commence the qualified acceptance process. An heir must decide whether to commence the renunciation process or the qualified acceptance process, or undertake neither of the processes (i.e. unconditional acceptance) “within three months of the time he/she has knowledge that there has been a commencement of inheritance for him/her”. Despite the name of the deliberation period, it is necessary to decide within the extremely short period of 3 months, so it requires considerable courage to decide whether to use the qualified acceptance process, which entails a particularly complex process.

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Community planning that is considerate of dementia patients ー A view of the Supreme Court train accident judgment

By Satoru Kohdera

An Aging Society

It goes without saying that Japan is rapidly becoming an aged society. By 2025 there is predicted to be 7 million people suffering from dementia, 50% more than in 2012, and one in four people over the age of 65 will be suffering from the condition. Issues concerning people with dementia exist in many forms. It is a large problem that younger people must also think about as something that will affect them personally in the near future.

In Kobe city, a committee was recently formed to address the topic of “considerate community planning” for dementia patients, and I participated as one of the committee members.

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Supreme Court decision concerning the responsibility of family members to supervise dementia patients

Supreme Court 3rd Petty Bench decision 1 March 2016

By Tatsuya Sasaki


In Japan, as the country’s “aging society” label suggests, statistics as of 15 September 2015 show that 26.7% of the national population is elderly. Further, approximately 15% of the elderly are affected by dementia, and as the causes of Alzheimer’s disease in particular are yet unknown, this number is increasing each year. With this in mind, I would like to introduce a Supreme Court judgment delivered in March 2016 that was the first to address the issue of the responsibility of family members to supervise dementia patients, whose numbers are predicted to increase substantially in the future.

Background of the case

The case involved a man (A) who was suffering from a severe case of Alzheimer’s disease and was inclined to wander away. While his wife (Y1) was taking a brief nap, A walked away from the house and eventually opened a fence gate at the end of a train platform, went onto the railway tracks and was fatally struck by a train. In response, Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) sued A’s surviving family members, namely Y1 and her eldest son (Y2), for compensation for the damage that arose from the incident, such as the delay to the train services.

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Rule for converting employment contracts from fixed-term to indefinite-term

By Nobuhiro Kotou

Last month several major news reports were published regarding labour laws, including reports that the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) had approved (and later retracted their approval of) the “highly-skilled professional system” (also reported as the “zero overtime pay system”) that excludes certain high-earning professionals from being subject to regulations regarding work hours, including the payment of overtime, as well as reports that the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare had issued warnings regarding illegal overtime to approximately 10,000 workplaces during the 2016 fiscal year. Yet, an event that will likely see reporting of much greater impact around April of next year is the “rule for converting labour contracts from fixed-term to indefinite-term” (i.e. the “indefinite-term conversion rule”) coming into practical effect.

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