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Authors

Jane Kim

Abstract

To understand the laws of a foreign nation, one must first under-stand that nation’s culture. Its people and their customs will provide in-sight into the proper interpretation and application of such laws. For those reasons, this commentary commences with cursory background on Japanese people, followed by a brief comparative analysis of Health In-surance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) (enacted in 1996) and its Japanese counterpart, the Act on the Protection of Personal In-formation (“APPI”) (enacted in 2003). The Japanese have borrowed a lot of American concepts of privacy laws. This paper will explore how these imported privacy concepts may not have translated well into Japanese culture and, in fact, a question is raised as to whether these privacy laws carry any meaning at all in Japan.