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.
Volumes have been written on the supposed nonlitigious nature of the Japanese, usually citing statistics showing there are hundreds-of-times fewer attorneys and lawsuits per capita in Japan as compared with the United States. These statistics are generally misleading because they fail to take into account the structure of the Japanese court system itself, which presents significant barriers for litigants.
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