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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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(p.215) Chapter Eight Debt-Suicide
Law in Everyday Japan
University of Chicago Press

This chapter navigates the phenomenon of debt-caused suicide, where the evidence suggests that law is an important part of the mix of factors which lead to certain kinds of suicide, and examines this complex relation of suicide, debt, and insolvency law in Japan. It also focuses on the connection to insolvency law to show how legal institutions influence everyday debt, and shows that insolvency law can sometimes be a matter of life or death. The relation is complex, and many people need mental health care, drugs to treat depression, and the love of friends and family much more than they need bankruptcy reform. But even in Japan, where the stigma of suicide is low and the stigma of insolvency is high, for some people, some of the time, and for reasons that are often varied and ambiguous, law appears to make a difference in the ultimate decision.

Keywords:   debt-suicide, law, insolvency law, legal institutions, bankruptcy reform

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