Like most legal systems around the world, the Japanese civil code imposes a duty of reasonable behavior on its citizens. Therefore, anyone who intentionally or negligently infringes the rights of others must compensate the injured party for their damage. This wide-ranging law covers a variety of situations and it is the main law used to enforce liability in traffic accidents and bicycle accidents.
When calculating the damages arising from negligence, Japanese law can take into consideration damages beyond simple property damage or medical expenses. Depending on the case, these extra damages can include damages that were not directly caused by the accident but nevertheless are a result of it. For example, loss of salary due to inability to work from injuries associated with the accident can be a major component of a damages award in some cases. The damages associated with loss of income are relatively easy to prove as each missed paycheck can easily be compensated by the defendant.
In general, Japanese employers are held liable for damage caused by the negligence of their employees during work. This same liability extends to people who supervise a business on behalf of an employer. However, this strict standard does not apply when the owner has exercised reasonable care in appointing or supervising the employee, or in circumstances where the damage could not have been avoided even if the employer had exercised reasonable care. Furthermore, the employer is free to seek reimbursement from the negligent employee where appropriate.
Indecent exposure, assault, contempt, a violation of the Minor Offenses Act and public nuisance drunkenness result in a punishment of Misdemeanor Imprisonment without Work. This sentence carries a maximum punishment of imprisonment for less than 30 days but the minimum punishment for this sentence is just one day.