In Print: Volume 88: Number 6
Looking Through the Wrong End of the Telescope: The Japanese Judicial Response to Steel Partners, Murakami, and Horie
By Stephen Givens
88 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1571 (2011)
When the Bulldog Sauce case landed at the doorstep of the Japanese Supreme Court in July 2007, one suspects that the Court greeted it with all the enthusiasm of a homeowner who opens the front door to collect the morning paper, only to find waiting a basket full of orphaned kittens.
Unusually for a Japanese Supreme Court case, the Bulldog Sauce case attracted intense public scrutiny as an emblem of the struggle between a controversial new breed of corporate raider and the Japanese corporate establishment. But beyond that, in ways too subtle for headline news, the two lower courts arrived at the same destination through two entirely different paths of judicial reasoning, each of which presented its own set of awkward problems. The issues and the posture of the case were such that the Supreme Court could not easily resolve the split between the lower courts simply by endorsing one line of reasoning and rejecting the other.