The giving of gifts is also considered a type of contract in Japan. Since these contracts involve one party donating a gift to the other party for nothing in return, Japanese law allows oral gift promises to be cancelled before completion. However, any part of the gift that has already been completed cannot be withdrawn.
Therefore, even if someone tells you that he will give you his car, he can still break his promise before he actually hands over the keys. However, once he hands over the keys, he cannot ask for the car back since the gift has already been completed.
Furthermore, a written contract to give a gift also cannot be cancelled, so next time someone says they’re going to give you present, make sure they write it down.
If you have any questions about contracting in Japan, please contact our office to set up a legal consultation.