Chapter

Earthquakes and Condominiums

in Law in Everyday Japan

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780226894027
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226894096 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226894096.003.0005
Earthquakes and Condominiums

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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

Chapter.  6665 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Law

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