1993 (O) 1762
- Date of the judgment (decision)
- Case Number
1993 (O) 1762
Judgment upon case of the possibility of rendering an enforcement judgment for a foreign judgment which ordered payment of the so-called punitive damages
- Case name
Judgment of the Second Petty Bench, other
- Court of the Prior Instance
Tokyo High Court Judgment of June 28, 1993
- Summary of the judgment (decision)
Enforcement judgment cannot be rendered on the part of the foreign judgment which, in addition to the compensatory damages, ordered payment of punitive damages for the purpose of deterrence and sanction
Article 200, subpara.3, Code of Civil Procedure [replaced by the new Code in 1998]
Judgments of foreign courts which have taken effect are valid only when they meet the following requirements:
(3) judgment of the foreign court is not against public order and good morals of Japan
Article 22, subpara.6, Law on Civil Enforcement
Enforcement is effected on the following basis (enforcement titles):
(6) foreign judgment or arbitral award which has an enforcement judgment in effect
Article 24, Law on Civil Enforcement
(1) Claims on the enforcement of foreign judgment fall within the jurisdiction of the district court which covers the location of ordinary jurisdiction of the debtor. If there is no such location, the court which has jurisdiction over the location of the assets which are the object of seizure, or assets which are seizable has jurisdiction over such claims.
(2) Enforcement judgment shall be rendered without examining the case on its merit.
(3) Claims as provided in subpara.1 shall be dismissed if there is no proof that the foreign judgment has taken effect, or does not fulfil the requirements provided by the subparagraphs of Article 200 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(4) In the enforcement judgment, it should be declared that enforcement is allowed on the basis of a foreign judgment
Article 709, the Civil Code
Those who, by intention or negligence, infringe other person's rights are liable for compensation.
- Main text of the judgment (decision)
The appeal of the appellant vis-a-vis the appellee Mansei Kogyo Kabushiki-kaisha is dismissed.
The appeal of the appellant vis-a-vis the appellee X is dismissed.
The cost of appeal is to be borne by the appellants.
I On the appeal of the appellant vis-a-vis the appellee company
On the grounds of appeal by representatives of the appellants Takeshi Sakuragi and Noriko Sato
1. The present case involves a claim by the appellee requesting the enforcement of a judgment of the Court of the State of California, USA. The original instance court has ascertained the following facts:
1) The Civil Code of the State of California, USA, has a provision which allows the plaintiff to receive punitive damages for the purpose of deterrence and sanction on the defendant in addition to damages for the actual loss in litigation on the ground of breach of non-contractual duties, if there was an fraudulent act or similar acts on the part of the defendant (Article 3294).
2) The Superior Court of California ordered the appellees to pay compensatory damages of 425,251 dollars and the cost of 40,104 dollars 71 cents, and in addition, ordered the appellee company to pay punitive damages of 1,125,000 dollars by the judgment of May 19, 1982 (hereinafter, 'the foreign judgment in the present case') on the ground that the appellees effected fraudulent acts against the appellants in relation to the conclusion of a lease agreement between the appellant and a subsidiary of the appellee, Marman Integrated Circuit Inc.
3) Both the appellants and appellees appealed against this judgment to the Appellate Court of California, but the Court dismissed the appeal on May 12, 1987, and the foreign judgment in the present case came into effect.
1) In a claim for an enforcement judgment, whether the given foreign judgment fulfils the requirements of subparagraphs of Article 200 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Art.24, para.3 of the Law on Civil Enforcement) is examined. Article 200 of the Code of Civil Procedure requires that the foreign judgment should not contradict public policy and good morals of Japan. One may not conclude that this requirement is not fulfilled solely by the fact that the foreign judgment contains an institution which does not exist in Japan, but if the given institution is against the basic principles or basic ideas of the legal order in Japan, the judgment should be regarded as being against public order in the above-cited provision.
2) It is evident that the system of punitive damages as provided by the Civil Code of the State of California (hereinafter, 'punitive damages') is designed to impose sanctions on the culprit and prevent similar acts in the future by ordering the culprit who had effected malicious acts to pay additional damages on top of the damages for the actual loss, and judging from the purposes, is similar to criminal sanctions such as fines in Japan. In contrast, the system of damages based upon tort in Japan assesses the actual loss in a pecuniary manner, forces the culprit to compensate this amount, and thus enables the recovery of the disadvantage suffered by the victim and restores the status quo ante (Judgment of the Supreme Court, 1988 (O) Case No.1749, Judgment of the Grand Bench, March 24, 1993, Minshu 47-4-3039), and is not intended for sanctions on the culprit or prevention of similar acts in the future, i.e. general prevention. Admitt edly, there may be an effect of sanctions on the culprit or prevention of similar acts in the future by imposing a duty of compensation on the culprit, but this is a reflective and secondary effect of imposing the duty of compensation on the culprit, and the system is fundamentally different from the system of punitive damages whose goals are the sanctioning of the culprit and general deterrence. In Japan, sanctioning of the culprit and general deterrence is left to criminal or administrative sanctions. Thus, the system in which in tort cases, the victim is paid damages for the purpose of imposing sanction on the culprit and general deterrence in addition to damages for the actual loss should be regarded as against the basic principles or basic ideas of the system of compensation based upon tort in Japan.
3) Therefore, part of the foreign judgment in the present case which ordered the appellee company to pay punitive damages for the purpose of deterrence and sanction in addition to compensatory damages and the cost is against public order of Japan and therefore, has no effect.
3. Thus, the judgment of the original instance which dismissed the claim for enforcement judgment on the part of the foreign judgment in the present case ordering the appellee company to pay punitive damages should be upheld. The arguments of the appellant, including the assertion that the original judgment is against the preamble to the Constitution and Article 6, para.1 of the Friendship and Commerce Treaty between Japan and the United States, criticise the interpretation and application of laws and ordinances by the original instance based upon unique views and cannot be accepted.
II On appeal vis-a-vis the appellee X
The claim in the present case by the appellant vis-a-vis the appellee X requests an enforcement judgment on the part of the foreign judgment in the present case on the payment of compensatory damages and the cost as well as the accompanying interests. The original judgment dismissed the appeal against the judgment of the first instance court which had acknowledged such a claim in total. Therefore, the appellant has no interest for further jokoku appeal, and therefore, this jokoku appeal should be dismissed as unlawful.
Based upon articles 401, 399-3, 399 para.1, subpara.1, 95, and 89, the justices unanimously judge as indicated in the main text.
(Translated by Sir Ernest Satow Chair of Japanese Law, University College, University of London)
- Presiding Judge