Six Weird Laws In Japan

1. It’s illegal to make clones: Having a clone of yourself might sound cool and dandy, but in Japan, it has been against the law to experiment with human cloning since 2001. If you make a clone, you will be sentenced to 10 years in prison or fined ¥10,000,000 (~USD94,633.50). As amazing as it sounds, clones are unethical – just look at the debacle surrounding Dolly the Sheep. This law was put in place to deter scientists from dabbling in human cloning research.

2. You can be jailed for putting ice cream in mailboxes : Putting ice cream in mailboxes may sound like a harmless prank, but in Japan, you may be imprisoned for up to 5 years or fined a maximum of ¥500,000 (~USD4731.68) for doing so. The law isn’t limited to just ice cream – Article 78 of the Postal Law protects all postal property against damage. In 2006, a 42-year-old postman from Saitama Prefecture was arrested for putting chocolate ice cream inside a mailbox. So yes, this weird Japanese law is actually enforced.

3. Drivers will be fined for splashing pedestrians with rainwater : Most of us can relate to the misfortune of getting horribly drenched thanks to passing cars who refuse to slow down on a rainy day. Such careless driving is not acceptable in Japan and drivers can be fined up to ¥7,000 (~USD66.24) for splashing someone. The law also states that vehicles should install mud flaps or drive slower when it rains so that the safety of pedestrians isn’t compromised. Next time you get rudely splashed, snap a photo of the vehicle and make them pay.

4. You cannot take out the trash too early : Living in Japan means adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle. This involves sorting out your trash at home and being a pro at the 3Rs – recycling, reducing, and reusing. There are many rules to follow, such as bringing out your trash for the pickup truck to collect on the designated days. You may think that it’s helpful to take the trash out the night before sanitation workers visit your area, but that’s not true. In fact, it may do more harm than good – Japan has wild raccoons that will rummage through trash, causing a mess. Also, it could pose a fire hazard.

5. It’s illegal to hand your neighbour’s misaddressed mail to them : Passing your neighbour’s mail to them when it accidentally appears in your mailbox sounds like a normal and helpful thing to do, but Article 42 of the Postal Law begs to differ. The law was put in place to protect the privacy of both the sender and recipient. If any misaddressed mail appears in your mailbox, send it back and let the post office handle it. In all seriousness though, you probably won’t get charged for giving your neighbour their letter, unless they intentionally sabotage you.

6. It’s illegal for married couples to live separately unless there is a “just cause” : If you are married, you have to stay together. The only exception is if you have a justified reason, such as work or health-related issues. The law was passed to ensure that married couples work together to bear the costs of living and to prevent divorce rates from increasing due to prolonged separation. However, most Japanese couples don’t have a reason to live apart after marriage, so they may not even be aware that this law exists.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.