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JAPANESE MARITIME LAW

Takayuki Matsui  Attorney-at-Law
Rie Akiba  Attorney-at-Law
Shigeru Akachi  Marine Consultant











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Decisions




Casualty

Max Law Office deals with any type of casualty. Three shipping lawyers and two master mariners could provide a proportionate response to our client’s needs and aim to deliver advice and a level of involvement suitable to fit with their operational requirements and way of working

Collision between KOSHYU MARU No.11 and MYONG-KWAN No.3 in Osaka Bay
Acting for the Japanese shipowners and hull insurers of the “KOSHYU MARU No.11” which collided with a North Korean ship “MYONG-KWAN No.3” in Osaka Bay. The Captain of MYONG-KWAN No.3 died due to the accident. Max Law Office successfully obtained the decision of the Japan Marine Accidents Inquiry Agency that the “MYONG-KWAN No.3” is mainly to blame.

Collision between BEAGLE 3 and PEGASUS PRIME in Tokyo Bay
Acting for P&I club and Hull insurer of the “BEAGLE 3”. The “BEAGLE 3” collided with the “PEGASUS PRIME” in Tokyo Bay and sunk. Nine crew of the “BEAGLE 3” died due to the accident. The bunker of the “BEAGLE 3” was leaked and spread overwhelmingly in Tokyo Bay. The oil pollution caused serious fishermen claims in the Tokyo Bay. The “PEGASUS PRIME” commenced the limitation procedures in Yokohama District Court.

Crane Accident of RICHMERS JAKARTA in Yokohama
Acting for P&I club of the “RICHMERS JAKARTA”. The hoisting wire rope was suddenly broken and the heavy cargo fell into the barge. The barge and the cargo sunk. The stevedore on the barge died and the cargo became total loss. More than USD20M claim was made by the stevedore, the barge and the cargo insurer. Max Law Office could successfully manage to dismiss the claims of the stevedore, the barge and the cargo insurer in the Tokyo District Court.

Collision between WAN HAI 162 and Fishing ships
Acting for the insurers of the WAN HAI 162. The WAN HAI 162 collided with fishing ships in Osaka Bay. Two fishermen died due to the collision. The Captain of WAN HAI 162 was arrested. Max Law Office also acted for the Master in criminal court. The Master managed to escape indictment in the criminal court.

Collision between ASIA CONCERTO and PINE PIA in Island Sea of Japan
Acting for the H&M insurers of the ASIA CONCERTO. The “ASIA CONCERTO” collided with the “PINE PIA” in Island Sea of Japan. The “ASIA CONCERTO” sunk and caused serious oil pollution. Two ships commenced limitation procedures in Yamaguchi District Court and in Hiroshima District Court separately.

Sinking of MOL COMFORT
The MOL COMFORT was split into two and sunk in the Indian Ocean. MAX Law Office is involved in the limitation procedures of the ship owners and in the class action against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Collision between the LADY P and TROPICAL SEA ROAD
Acted for the hull insurer of the TROPICAL SEA ROAD. Max Law Office successfully obtained the decision of the Japan Marine Accidents Inquiry Agency that the “LADY P” is mainly to blame in the fog situation of Osaka Bay.

Limitation

We have vast experience of limitation procedures in Japanese court and provide timely service for our clients in connection with the limitation.

  • Collision between SIRIUS and YUSHIN MARU No.8 (Hiroshima District Court)
  • Cable damage by the RYUEI (Hakodate District Court)
  • Collision between MUSASHINO MARU and TENSUZU MARU (Yokohama District Court)
  • Collision between DANG FEN and No. 21 JYUJYU MARU (Hakodate District Court)

Ship Arrest

We act regularly for shipowners, charterers, P&I clubs, banks and so on to handle the arrest of ships in Japan.

  • KOREAN PEARL (Tokyo District Court)
  • AVENTICUM (Yamaguchi District Court)
  • PEGASUS PRIME (Yokohama District Court)
  • THREE TULIP (Yamaguchi District Court)
  • CAMEL ACE (Yamaguchi District Court)
  • BALTIC WINTER (Akita District Court)
  • CHANG SHAN (Mito District Court)

Litigation

We act in shipping disputes before the Japanese courts and have good result in any case.

KOTOKU MARU ~ Ube Shipping & Logistics, Ltd vs. Japanese Government
The charterers issued the performance guarantee of charter to the subsidiary of Japanese government which lent the money to the owners who ordered the ship “KOTOKU MARU”. The ship was delivered to the charterers from the owners and the charterers used the ship. However the owners went into bankruptcy and Japanese government suffered loss. Government sued the charterers relying on the performance guarantee. The court dismissed the claim of the government concluding that the performance guarantee is too ambiguous to enforce. Max Law Office successfully acted for the charterers.

ASIA STAR, MARINE, HAO GUO, FARWIND 308 and HAO FU
Five ships were arrested by a bunker supplier, Fratelli Cosulich Bunkers (HK) limited, in several Japanese courts. Max Law Office successfully set aside all arrests. The court concluded that the arrests of 5 ships were wrongful and illegal.

NYK AUGUS
The large container ship had a fire during the voyage and caused more than USD10M damage to the cargo and ship. The cargo insurers and NYK sued the shipper of the dangerous chemical cargo on the ship. The Tokyo High Court held the shipper liable for the damage. Max Law Office acted for the BL carrier in the litigation and participated in the litigation to protect the BL carrier. Max Law Office could successfully get a judgment that the BL carrier was not negligent.

ORIENT VEGA
The owners chartered the ship to the Sanko Line. The Sanko Line commenced rehabilitation procedures in Tokyo District Court and terminated the charter party under Japanese insolvency law. The owners claimed damage and sued the Sanko Line in Tokyo District Court. The Sanko Line contested the jurisdiction relying on the London arbitration clause in the charter party. Max Law Office acted for the owners. The court dismissed the argument of Sanko Line and held that the owners has jurisdiction in Japan.

OCEAN DRAGON, HANSA ALTENBURG, DS BLUE WAVE and JRS CORVUS
Four ships were arrested by a bunker supplier in several Japanese courts. Max Law Office successfully set aside all arrests. The court concluded that the arrests of 4 ships were wrongful and illegal. We are now suing the bunker supplier for wrongful arrests.

TOMAC Arbitration

TOMAC arbitration is unique and we have vast experiences in this area. Takayuki Matsui is a listed arbitrator in TOMAC arbitration.

HONOR PESCADORE~ successfully defended the owners under the Inter Club Agreement.

SHYOTOKU MARU No.75 ~ successfully acted for the Buyers under NIPPONSALE.

GION MARU ~ successfully defended the Buyers under the second hand ship sale contract.

SANMER PAGENT ~ successfully assisted the intermediate voyage charterer in chains of the voyage charter parties.

Floating Crane Dispute ~ successfully defended the intermediate buyers in chains of the ship building contracts.