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International Law, Human Rights, and Japanese LawThe Impact of International Law on Japanese Law$
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Yuji Iwasawa

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198259121

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259121.001.0001

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The Impact of International Human Rights Law on Women in Japan

The Impact of International Human Rights Law on Women in Japan

(p.205) V. The Impact of International Human Rights Law on Women in Japan
International Law, Human Rights, and Japanese Law


Oxford University Press

This chapter explains how women are discriminated against in Japan and the impact of international human rights law on this discrimination. Japanese women have always had unequal status in Japan, but steps have been taken towards securing equality between men and women ever since the feudal system was abolished with the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Even though a modern constitution was promulgated in 1889, and a modern Civil Code followed, women were still not accorded equality with men. The years that followed the defeat of Japan after the Second World War brought about a revolutionary change in the status of women in Japan which includes the amendment of the family law section of the Civil Code towards granting equal rights for women in Japan. The ratification of the Women's Convention by Japan in 1985 effected tremendous legal change and was a historical event that radically altered the status of women and society in Japan.

Keywords:   Japanese women, discrimination, Meiji Restoration, Women's Convention

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