Report No. 85
Legislation in Japan.- The Japanese Automobile Damage Compensation Security Act primarily compels1 liability insurance covering fixed amounts, but the government makes a contribution to the cost and there is an entirely new system of "provisional payments".
"The mere fact of death or injury (having been caused) by the operation of an automobile entitles the victim to demand payment from the insurer in an amount of about one-third of the compulsory policy limits. Reimbursement of amounts, thus 'provisionally' paid in the absence of liability, is limited to a claim by insurer against the government which in turn may, but hardly ever will, recoup itself from the victim".
This last provision goes some way towards the approach of compensation irrespective of fault.2
The Damage Law can be best discussed by being broken down into three topics: liability, compulsory liability insurance, and governmental compensation of injured persons not otherwise compensated through insurance.3
1. Ehrenzweing in (1956) 5 AJCL 273.
2. See Sir John Barry Compensation without Litigation, (1964) 37 ALJ 339, 349.
3. Von Mehren (Ed.) Law in Japan, (1963), p. 406.