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The Security Interest in Transport Vehicles in Japan

Haruna Fujisawa


As the General Report chapter of this book describes, the Cape Town Convention has been a great success. Unfortunately, Japan is not a party to this Convention. This Chapter aims to explain the Japanese law concerning security interests in transport vehicles.

This Chapter proceeds in four parts: first, the creation of a security interest will be discussed; second, registration will be analyzed; third, enforcement topics will be reviewed; and fourth, insolvency proceedings will be examined.

Creation of a Security Interest

Security Interests Provided by the Civil Code

In Japan, aircraft, railway rolling stock, and space assets are treated as movables.[1] Generally, security interests in movables are governed by the Japanese Civil Code (Mimpo). However, the Civil Code is flawed in that the security interests in movables are merely a pledge. In other words, it does not provide a method to create a security interest in a movable without depossession (a non-possessory security interest in a movable). Moreover, there is a principle of numerus clausus in the

Civil Code.[2] Therefore, security interests in movables without depossession do not exist in the Japanese law.

  • [1] Article 86(2) of Civil Code (Mimpo) provides, “Any Thing which is not real estate is regarded asmovable.” H. Fujisawa (*) College of Law and Politics, Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japane-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it © Springer International Publishing AG 2017 273 S. Kozuka (ed.), Implementing the Cape Town Convention and the DomesticLaws on Secured Transactions, Ius Comparatum - Global Studies inComparative Law 22, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-46470-1_17
  • [2] Article 175 of Civil Code (Mimpo) provides, “No real rights can be established other than thoseprescribed by laws including this Code.”
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