Mark Levin

William S. Richardson School of Law
Professor of Law
Member, Pacific-Asian Legal Studies Committee
Advisor, Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal 
Advisor, Pacific-Asian Legal Studies Organization

Area/Regional Expertise

International Business Transactions
Japanese Law

PALS Courses Taught

International Business Transactions
Law & Society in Japan
Japanese Business Law


LLM, University of Washington
JD, Yale Law School
BBA, University of Michigan, high distinction


Professor Levin joined the faculty in January 1997 from the Law Department of Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan. His interest in Japan began after his 1983 graduation from Yale Law School, when he worked in international business and financial transactions at Masuda and Ejiri, one of the leading Tokyo international law offices at the time.

From 1984 to 1986, he clerked for U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour in Seattle, Washington, and then practiced in Seattle for five years as a corporate attorney, representing numerous Japanese clients. Professor Levin also earned an LL.M. from the University of Washington’s Asian Law Program (Japanese Law Emphasis) in 1990.
In 1992, Professor Levin was one of the first recipients of a Blakemore Foundation Grant for Advanced Asian Language Study, which enabled him to study at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama for one year. This was followed by a Japan Foundation Fellowship for one year of research at the Tokyo University Faculty of Law. He was then invited to Hokkaido to become the first non-Japanese given full status as a faculty member at the law department there, teaching a variety of subjects concerning American law and advising graduate student researchers on related topics.

Professor Levin’s scholarly publications have considered diverse topics including smoking and tobacco regulation in Japan, legal education in Japan, and the legal circumstances of race and indigenous peoples in Japan. Briefer writings have looked at Japanese legal history, Japan’s new lay judge system, and the April 2007 Japanese Supreme Court decision concerning the nation’s history of sexual slavery and forced labor during mid-20th century wartime engagements in Asia and the Pacific. Works have been published in leading law journals in both the United States and Japan.

Professor Levin's current research is centered around a multi-year project focusing on judicial administration and procedural justice in Japan. The first of three works envisioned in the project – “Courts and Constitutions: The Limits of Instrumental Judicial Administration in Japan,” was published in Volume 20.2 of the University of Washington’s Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal in February 2011.

Professor Levin is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for The Journal of Japanese Studies. He has served on the State of Hawai‘i Supreme Court’s Committee on Certification of Court Interpreters and its Permanent Committee on Equality and Access to the Courts, and as Vice-Chair of the State of Hawai‘i Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund Advisory Board from 2007 - 2009. He is also currently serving on the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Faculty Senate and the University’s Center for Japanese Studies’ Executive Board.

Selected Publications


Book Chapters


Civil Justice and the Constitution: Limits on Instrumental Judicial Administration in Japan, Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 20, No. 2, 265-318 (2011).
Lighting up the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: A Case Study of U.S. Tobacco Industry Political Influence Buying in Japan, North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, Vol. 34, No. 2, 471-519 (2009).
裁 判員の守秘義務:裁判員制度にかくされた陥穽, in 季刊刑事弁護(Quarterly Keiji Bengo), No. 60, 91-99 (Winter 2009) (translation of Japan’s New Citizen Judges: How Secrecy Imperils Judicial Reform, listed below, Enomoto trans.).
Japan’s New Citizen Judges: How Secrecy Imperils Judicial Reform, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 19-6-09 (May 9, 2009) (with Virginia Tice).
Continuities of Legal Consciousness: Professor John Haley’s Writings on Twelve Hundred Years of Japanese Legal History, Harris Institute for Global Legal Studies Festschrift Papers for John Owen Haley, Washington University Global Studies Law Review. Vol. 8, No. 2, 317-332 (2009).
Commentary on Important Legal Precedents for 2007: Trends in Constitutional Law Cases, Teruki Tsunemoto, Translation by Mark A. Levin and Jesse Smith, Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, Vol.11, No. 1, (2009).
Japan's "Comfort Women," Case Comment: Nishimatsu Construction Co. v. Song Jixiao et al.; Kō Hanako et al. v. Japan, American Journal of International Law, Vol. 102, January 2008.
批判的人種理論と日本法―和人の人種的特権について (The Wajin’s Whiteness: Law and Race Privilege in Japan), 法律時報(Hōritsu Jihō), Vol. 80, No.2, 80-91 (February 2008) (in Japanese, Ozaki trans.).
Japan’s New Law Schools: Elite, Cautious, Regional, and Idealistic, 法社会学(Japanese Journal of Law and Society), Vol. 139 (2005).
Tobacco Industrial Policy and Tobacco Control Policy in Japan, Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1, Winter 2005 (U.S. re-publication of book chapter listed directly below).
日本におけるたばこ産業政策とたばこ規制政策(Tobacco Industrial Policy and Tobacco Control Policy in Japan, in Tobacco Free*Japan: Recommendations for Tobacco Control Policy, November 2004, (in English and Japanese, Inks trans.).
Essential Commodities and Racial Justice: Using Constitutional Protection of Japan’s Indigenous Ainu People to Inform Understandings of the U.S. and Japan, New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, Vol. 33, 419 (2001).
Kayano et al. v. Hokkaidō Expropriation Committee (The Nibutani Dam Decision): Introductory Note and Annotated Translation, International Legal Materials, Vol 38, 394 (1999).
Smoke Around the Rising Sun: An American Look at Tobacco Regulation in Japan, Stanford Law and Policy Review, Vol. 8, 99 (1997).
Tobacco Law and Policy: Law Journal Articles Database, principal site developer. Version 1.0, online from June 2000. Version 2.0, fully redeveloped, online from June 2006, last updated August 2008



Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Japanese Studies, May 2011 – present.
Honorary Advisor for International and Domestic Policy, Japan Society for Tobacco Control, Tokyo, Japan, August 2006 - present. Advisory Board, Blakemore Foundation, Seattle, Washington, 1998 - present.
Supreme Court Permanent Committee on Equality and Access to the Courts, Supreme Court of the State of Hawai‘i, July 2004 - June 2007.
Hawai‘i State Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund Advisory Board, April 2007 - June 2009; Vice-chair, November 2007 - June 2009.
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Faculty Senate, March 2011 – present.
Visiting Scholar, Hokkaido University Law School, Sapporo, Japan, June-July 2007, June-July 2009, July-August 2011.
Visiting Lecturer, Meijo University Law School, Nagoya, Japan, June 2007.
Visiting Lecturer, San’in Law School, Matsue, Japan, March 2007.


Contact Information

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

William S. Richardson Law

Pacific-Asian Legal Studies

2515 Dole Street

Honolulu, Hawaii 96822-2350

United States


(808) 956-3302


(808) 956-5569



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Room 245


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Professor Levin At Asian-Pacific Law Symposium

Professor Levin With Dr. Koaru Kasiwagi