Since the end of World War II, Japan has soared to the summit of importance in the world economy. In recent years, the balance of trade between the United States and Japan has been tipped strongly in favor of the Japanese. Since America's hegemony in international contracting is waning, especially with the Japanese, new approaches must be considered. The purpose of this Note, therefore, is to provide the reader with an understanding of the difference between Japanese and American legal consciousness. Because the Japanese approach yields an exceptionally low rate of litigation, a secondary goal of this Note is to apprise the American reader of the non-confrontational Japanese approach in contracting, with an eye for promoting its use in the United States. This Note first provides an analysis of contemporary approaches to transnational contracts between private parties. This Note next examines the historical and cultural perspectives of Japanese and American approaches to contract law, with much emphasis on the Japanese approach. Finally, it shall be seen that the use of contract law is appropriate as the vehicle for demonstrating the disparity of cultural legal attitudes.
Note, Working It Out: A Japanese Alternative to Fighting It Out, 37 Clev. St. L. Rev. 149 (1989)