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“The Master said, in hearing litigation, I am no different from any other man. But if you insist on a difference, it is, perhaps, that I try to get parties not to resort to litigation in the first place.” The Analects of Confucius, Book XII, Section 13.

In that statement, and others in the Analects, Confucius demonstrates a distrust of law and litigation as a means of regulating society and promoting goodness that is still evident in many Asian cultures, including Japan. Subscribers to the tenants of Confucianism are generally suspicious of codified laws, contracts and formal judicial proceedings, which are seen as too inflexible to handle myriad circumstances and experiences that may arise in personal and business relationships. Confucius chose to trust people, not laws, to promote a well ordered and smoothly running society. Under such a view, litigation serves only to make society more confrontational, less harmonious and less orderly.

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