The Security Interest in Transport Vehicles in Japan
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. 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. Therefore, security interests in movables without depossession do not exist in the Japanese law.
-  Article 175 of Civil Code (Mimpo) provides, “No real rights can be established other than thoseprescribed by laws including this Code.”