8. ーnternati。naー Law

1 46
International LaW
1. A case in which it was held that the arrest for refusal to be fingerprinted is illegal but the fingerprinting system itself is not con-
trary to the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights of December 16, 1966.
Decision by the Second Civil Division of the Osaka High Court
on October 28, 1994. Case No. (ne) 1290 of 1992. A case claiming
damages. 1513 Hanrei Jih 71; 868 Hanrei Taimuzu 59.
[Reference: Constitution of Japan, Articles 1 3 , 14 and 98(2); In-
ternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of December 16,
1966, Articles 7 and 26; Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
of May 23, 1969, Articles 3 1 and 32; Law Concerning State Liability for Compensation, Article I ; Alien Registration Law, Articles 14,
18(1) and 18(2).]
X (plaintiff, ko so appellant) has the right of permanent residence
based on the Agreement on the Legal Status and the Treatment of
the Nationals of the Republic of Korea Residing in Japan between
Japan and the Republic of Korea signed on June 22, 1965 . In February, 1 985, he applied for the delivery of a new certificate of registra-
tion of foreigners in exchange for an old one, but he refused to be
fingerprinted. He was delivered a new certificate on which "notfingerprinted" was written . The Kyoto Prefectural Police knew about
the refusal, and delivered a summons several times in order to hear
the facts from him. X refused to go to the police voluntarily, so the
police requested the Court to issue an arrest warrant concerning the
breach of the Alien Registration Law. The reasons necessitating the
arrest were the danger of escape and that of evading the authorities.
X was arrested and brought to the police station. After the investigation, including the taking of photos, fingerprinting and physical
search, he was released. X brought an action for damages of I billion yen against the Government (Y I ) , Kyoto Prefecture (Y2) and the
police officer applying for the arrest warrant (Y3), and an action
1 47
demanding delivery of the original and copies of his fingerprint
against Y1 and Y2. The bases for the action are that Articles 14, 18(1)
and 1 8(2) of the Alien Registration Law requiring fingerprinting and
punishment are contrary to Articles 1 3 and 14 of the Constitution
of Japan and Articles 7 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights of December 1 6, 1 966 and they are null and void;
the request for the warrant and its delivery did not fulfill the condi-
tion of necessity; the procedure of taking photos, fingerprinting and
physical search is illegal. The Kyoto District Court dismissed the
claims (decision of March 26, 1992, case No. (wa) 928 of 1986). X
appealed to the Osaka High Court.
[Opinions of the Court]
The Court reversed the judgment of the court below with respect
to Y1 and Y2 and held that Y1 and Y2 shall each pay 400,000 yen
and interest to X. The Court dismissed the claim concerning Y3, as
the court below had also done.
First, the Court examined the illegality of the request for an ar-
rest warrant and its delivery. The purpose of the arrest was to ensure the appearance of the accused and to prevent him from evading
the authorities. The prosecutors and police officers requesting the
arrest warrant had to present the documents that show the reasons
for and necessity of the arrest, and the judge who received the request should have denied that request when he realized that there
was a reason for the arrest but it was not necessary. The violation
of the duty of fingerprinting constitutes a crime with a minor degree
of illegality and of social reproach; the exercise of the power of ar-
rest as a compulsory measure is intended to be restrictive. In the
present case, X's intention to escape and evade the authorities could
not be found, and circumstances of his life did not give rise to a fear
of his escape. The evidence that the police had obtained before the
arrest was sufficient to show the fact of violation of the fingerprint-
ing requirement. The request for an arrest warrant in this case was
made though there was no need, and the judge delivered the warrant greatly in excess of the limits of his discretion.
Second, the treatment of X while in police custody is regarded
as a factor in the calculation of damages. The taking of photos, fingerprinting and physical search were not illegal, and did not correspond to "degrading treatment" as defined under Article 7 of the
Covenant .
Third, the Court examined whether the fingerprinting system is
contrary to the Constitution and the Covenant or not, as far as it
is nessesary for calculation of damages . With respect to the Covenant,
it held that the Covenant has in principle a self-executing character
and is directly applicable in the domestic sphere; municipal laws conflicting with the Covenant are denied legal effect. When it interprets
the Covenent, the rules of the Vienna Convention of the Law of
Treaties codifying customary law becomes the guide to interpretation. With respect to Article 7 of the Covenant, the Court held that
"degrading treatment" defined in Article 7 of the Covenant is an
act by which pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is inflicted with the participation, whether positive or negative, of public officers. The pain or suffering of those who is fingerprinted does
not reach the degree mentioned above, but the pain or suffering of
one who lost his Japanese nationality as a result of the Treaty of
Peace with Japan of 1 95 1 is stronger than that of an ordinary foreign-
er, and there is room to appreciate that the pain or suffering may
reach "the certain degree". There are many problems to be considered and it is impossible to conclude that the compulsory fingerprinting of former Japanese constitute a violation of Article 7 of the
Covenant. Concerning the claim of violation of Article 26 of the
Covenant, the Court held that the fingerprinting system is a system
of separation based on nationality, and it violates Article 26 except
when its standards are rational and objective and are established in
order to attain legal purposes. The legislative purpose of the system
is to ensure specification, registration and identification of foreign-
ers residing in Japan. It is legal under the Covenant and the standard of separation is rational and objective. When it is applied to
the former Japanese discussed above, there is room to doubt the standard of the different treatment between a Japanese national and the
former Japanese, but this did not lead to a conclusion that the system
is contrary to Article 26 of the Covenant.
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The instant case arose before amendment of the Foreigner Registration Act by the Law of 1987 (No. 102). The doubts about the necessity and rationality of the fingerprinting system become strong and
against that background the Alien Registration Law was amended
in 1985, 1987 and 1992.
In this case, the Court reflects this social movement. With regard
to the point that the fingerprinting system itself serves an appropriate administrative purpose and has necessity and rationality, this case
basically reflects the precedent, but we can find something new . First ,
in this case, the Court found the lack of necessity for the arrest. In
its reasoning, it regarded the violation of the duty of fingerprinting
as a crime of a minor degree of illegality and social reproach, and
it is different from a judgment by the Tokyo District Court of March
26, 1986 (1 1 86 Hanrei Jih6 23) that the refusal to be fingerprinted
cannot generally be regarded as minor crime. Second, with respect
to the finding concerning the danger of escape and evading the
authorities, the Court's view seems contrary to a judgment by the
Kobe District Court of December 4, 1992 (8 1 5 Hanrei Taimuzu 1 50)
in which the circumstances are very similar to the present case. The
different factors are the accused's intention to contend the illegality
of the system through judicial procedure and the exsistence of the
guarantee of a third party that X would not escape. These two fac-
tors led the Court to make a contrary finding. Third, the Court
showed doubt that the fingerprinting of those who lost their Japanese
nationality due to the Treaty of Peace with Japan of 1 95 1 may be
contrary to the Constitution and the Covenant .
As to the relation between municipal law and the Covenant, the
Court clearly discussed the principles that the Covenant has in principle a self-executing character and is directly applicable in domestic sphere; municipal laws conflicting with the Covenant are denied
legal effect. In Japan, it is generally accepted that under Article 98
of the Constitution, treaties are generally accepted and have internal effect without transformation . There is an doctorinal controversy
about whether the concepts of "self-executing" character and of
"direct applicability" are the same or not, but Japanese courts seem
to use these concepts without any distinction. With respect to customary law, an April 1 8, 1989 decision by Tokyo District Court gave
a definition of the concept of " self executing" character (32 Japanese
Annual of International Law 140 (1989)). In the present case, the
standard of distinction between the self-executing treaties and nonself-executing treaties was not shown. Further, it seems doubtful that
the all provisions of the Covenant in principle have self-executing
character or direct applicability.
As to the interpretation of the Covenant, the Court relied on the
rules of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, and refers
as supplementary means to the treaties on human rights and various
opinions and decisions made by the Human Rights Committee established by the Covenant, the European Commission of Human
Rights and the European Court of Human Rights. The interpretation seems more detailed than prior cases . It may be said that Japanese
courts became a little more positive in its interpretation and appli-
cation of international human rights law.
2. A case in which it was held that the declaration of incounpeten-
cy of a Soviet Russian in Japan by the Consul General of the
USSR stationed in Japan was invalid, denying the competence
of such declaration by the consul.
Decision by the Sixteenth Civil Division of the Tokyo High Court
on February 22, 1994. Case No.(ne)4620 of 1991 . A ko so appeal for
demand to register the transfer of proprietorship of a real estate.
862 Hanrei Taimuzu 295.
[Reference: Treaty on Consular Relations between Japan and the
USSR, Articles 29(1) and 37; Charter on the Consul of the USSR,
Article 3 1 ; Horei, Article 4(2).]
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T, a Russian born in the Republic of Russia of the USSR (X,
plaintiff, k6so appellant), Iived in Japan for 60 years. T had once
made a testament to bequeathe his real estate to X, but then he made
another notarial testament including the bequest of the property to
his doctor, Y (defendant, k6so respondent). T died on November
3 , 1984. Y registered the transfer of ownership of the real estate.
X demanded that Y transfer the registration of the real estate to
him, asserting that X had acquired ownership of the real estate un-
der the former testament. Y claimed that the former testament is
regarded as revoked and he had obtained ownership. X asserted the
invalidity of the second testament in the following respects: (1) vio-
lation of the notarial testament procedure; (2) Iack of testamentary
competency; (3) existence of a valid declaration of incompetency of
T by the Consul General of the USSR and violation of the procedure of testament by an incompetent.
The Tokyo District Court dismissed the claim of X on December 20, 1991. X filed a ko so appeal.
[Opinions of the Court]
The ko so appeal dismissed.
A state organ of one particular state can exercise its public authori-
ty only over the area where the territorial sovereignty of the state
extends, which is within the territory of the state. This is a principle
of international law (territorial jurisdiction). A national is subject
to the sovereignty of the state in which he has settled in principle
as long as he resides or stays within the territory of that state; his
own country cannot exercise its public authority over him, and it
can only exercise its power exceptionally on the matters especially
agreed to by the state in which he has settled. When a state sends
consuls to a foreign state, it is necessary to have the consent of the
receiving state . The jurisdiction of the sending state's consul is limited
to the terms of any agreement by, for example, a treaty between the
sending state and the receiving state.
It is provided in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
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that, concerning the functional power of consuls, the matter of exercise of jurisdiction is not permitted. Declaration of incompetency
is an act by which the state organ limits a person's capability to act.
The state acts to exercise its public authority, which is jurisdiction
lato sensu, in particular. It is appropriate that as a rule, a consul
is not allowed to take a state action on behalf of its nationals under
the territorial sovereignty of another state. He or she may, under
exceptional circumstances, be allowed to do so, but only if the receiv-
mg state consents.
With respect to the admissibility of the declaration by the consul
of the incompetency of T, who was staying in Japan, it depends on
whether Japan, as the receiving state, consented. As the USSR is not
a member of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations , the Convention is not at issue, and as it does not provide for a declaration
of incompetency, it cannot be assumed that Japan as member of the
Convention consented comprehensively to the consul of a foreign
state declaring its nationals incompetent within the territory of Japan .
In addition, the Treaty on Consular Relations between Japan and
the USSR, which addresses the extent of functional power of a foreign consul within a receiving state, enumerates the functions individu-
ally and precisely in Articles 30 to 42. It is clear that the matters
prescribed in Articles 30 to 42 are a restrictive list and do not in-
clude a provision concerning the declaration of incompetency. The
plaintiff claims that the "other functions according to the law of the
receiving state" in Article 29 (1) include the competence to declare
incompetency. However, this provision is understood to be a matter
apart from the restrictive list and which is obviously and clearly per-
mitted by the law of the receiving state as an aspect of the competence of consuls because of the character of their work . Furthermore,
Japan does not have legislation to entrust the competence to declare
incompetency to a foreign consul, thus there is no room for interpretation of the treaty provision that "other functions of the consul"
include that competence.
The domestic law of the USSR on the competence of a consul
confers functional power as a judicial organ concerning its nationals within the receiving state. However, this competence is limited
1:》EVELOP甑2vTS llv1994 ■UD/CL4L Z)EC71S70四S
to situations in which it is not prohibited by the law of the state of
settlementas areceivingstate.Consequently,ininterpretingthelaw
of this state,the Treaty on Consular Relations between Japan and
the USSR,and the law ofthe USSR,it is not pemissible to confer
upon a foreign consul general staying in Japan the competence to
declare a Russian in Japan incompetent.Therefore,it is reasonable
not have competence to declare incompetency,and this declaration
of incompetence was not valid from the outset.
in this case was done by the consul of the USSR whose jurisdiction
to make such a declaration within Japan is impermissible,it cannot
be regarded as a declaration made by a competent authority in his
homecountry.There canbeno recognition ofthe declaration ofin−
competency of a foreign state.
1. In thisκδ50apPeal,the court,as a general principle of in−
temational law,considers the permissible condition for the exercise
of public authority by taking notice of the territorial area.The issue
is the definition and pemissible area for the concept of“public
The definition is not clear in the court opinion.The leading doc−
trins classify the function of national competence using a national
or state J皿isdiction doctrine.As the court refers to the exercise of
j皿isdiction勉osθn5㍑,itis reasonabletounderstand fromthecourt
opinion that it takes this declaration as the actual exercise of national
competence or executive or enforcement j皿isdiction耽05θns㍑(as
it is not a physical enforcement measure).
The permissible area of exercise is traditionally considered the
predominance ofthete皿itorialprincipleandthe exclusiveness ofter−
ritorialsovereignty,asitwasinthis court opinion.Withtherecent
increase of transborder activities,the influence of private persons
has changed the criteria used to settle national competence orj皿is−
diction.Aiming not at the maintenance of a coexistence of sover.
eign states but at the substantial guarantee of interests of nationals,
the existence of a "genuine and effective link" for the actual activi-
ties or influences within the relevant states tends to be determined
and compared. The actual conclusion of the court will not be affected, but because this court opinion is based on the traditional un-
derstanding of national competence, there can be other opinions as
well .
2. The court interprets the Treaty on Consular Relations between Japan and the USSR with a wealth of detail. As the court opinion says , the declaration of incompetency is affirmatively denied based
on the provisions of Article 37. This kind of Article does not exist
in the consular treaty with the US or one with the UK. On one hand,
the consular treaties between the Socialist countries allowed them
the competence to select a guardian or manager; on the other hand,
the treaties between the USSR and non-Socialist countries or between
non-Socialist countries permitted only the competence of recommendation. That interpretation is supported by the fact that these are
different systems. (See the comment on this decision by Akio Mori-
ta, Jurist N0.1068 (1995) pp.253-255)