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Law in Everyday JapanSex, Sumo, Suicide, and Statutes$
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Mark D. West

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226894027

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226894096.001.0001

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Earthquakes and Condominiums

Earthquakes and Condominiums

(p.125) Chapter Five Earthquakes and Condominiums
Law in Everyday Japan
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the role of law in solving disputes about condominium reconstruction before and after the Kobe earthquake of 1995. In comparison to renters, condo owners in Japan tend to interact less and be on less familiar terms with their neighbors. Kobe condominium owners might have reached consensus—eventually—even without the law, and social norms surely played a role in achieving agreement. But when we compare the rapid consensus achieved concerning condominiums with the rancor that often surrounds other decision-making processes in Japan which historically have lacked clear rules, one factor that differentiates Kobe is the existence of clearly delineated legal rules regarding consensus. Those rules, and other supporting institutions, played a major role in structuring agreement.

Keywords:   earthquakes, condominiums, renter, neighbor, law, legal rules

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