This book deals with working time and legal culture in Japan and the European Union. Working time is perceived in an extended approach, in relation to non-working time, or lifetime of the employees. Thus, the examination of working time regulation is not limited merely to hours of work, but it also includes regulation regarding leaves, night work, part-time work and subsequently sex equality law.
A different overall approach of comparative law methodology is presented. The concept of legal culture assists comparative law methodology, since it allows the comparison of two legal systems, which would seem hard to compare according to traditional comparative law standards. Moreover, the study of legal culture both in Japan and in the European Union allows us to read behind the lines of the relevant legal texts and examine not only formal law, but also what working time Law is or should be in relation to the respective social contexts. In this respect, the function of working time law is revealed and the task of reforming working time law is facilitated.
The aim of this research is to trace down a common denominator between Japan and the European Union, which would promote a mutual comprehension and would facilitate a possible collaboration in the process of re-conceiving working time law. It represents a new approach to comparative law methodology, and it is useful for research in comparative law and politics, legal sociology, European and Japanese social law.