Japanese property system

Most nations follow one of two main legal systems: Common Law (in the USA, Britain, Australia etc.) and Civil Law (in France, Germany, other European countries and also Japan).
In the 19th century, Japan based its Civil Code on the legal codes of France and Germany, both Civil Law systems.

Although it can be jointly owned, Civil Law systems regard property as indivisible in theory, so a transaction transfers ownership completely or not at all.
It makes no distinction between beneficial, legal or equitable titles, as does Common Law.

One analogy is that Civil Law treats property ownership as a box: whoever has the box, owns it. The owner can open the box and transfer the rights inside it to others, but still owns the box. In Common Law, property ownership is like a cake. You can keep the whole cake or divide it into slices. Each slice represents a part of the ownership of the property, as there is division of ownership, not just the transfer of rights.

The Japanese Civil Code bases property law on the principle of ownership. Article 29 of the Japanese Constitution includes the property rights of Japanese citizens:
1) the right to own property is inviolable;
2) property rights shall be defined by law, in conformity with the public welfare; and
3) private property may be taken for public use upon just compensation for this.
The Civil Code prohibits the creation of new real property rights not provided for in the law. The main property rights are ownership, possession, leases and usufruct. Accessory property rights include pledges, mortgages and easements.

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