Japan’s “Ten Principles of Robot Law”

1. Robots must serve mankind
2. Robots must never kill or injure humans
3. Robot manufacterers shall be responsible for their creations
4. Robots involved in the production of currency, contraband or dangerous goods, must hold a current permit.  
5. Robots shall not leave the country without a permit.
6. A robots identity must not be altered, concealed or allowed to be misconstrued.
7. Robots shall remain identifiable at all times.
8. Robots created for adult purposes shall not be permitted to work with children.
9. Robots must not assist in criminal activities, nor aid or abet criminals to escape justice.
10. Robots must refrain from damaging human homes or tools, including other robots.


These principles are adapted from the original “Ten Principles of Robot Law” formulated by Osamu Tezuka for his Astro Boy series.

The original Principles can be found in Schodt (1988 p.77) and are as follows:

1. Robots must serve mankind.
2. Robots shall never kill or injure humans.
3. Robots shall call the human that creates them “father.”
4. Robots can make anything, except money. 
5. Robots shall never go abroad without permission.
6. Male and female robots shall never change roles.
7. Robots shall never change thier appearance or assume another identity without permission.
8. Robots created as adults shall never act as children.
9. Robots shall not assemble other robots that have been scrapped by humans.
10. Robots shall never damage human homes or tools.

Are these principles adequate ethical guidelines for robots of the future?

Have your say below.

§ 5 Responses to Japan’s “Ten Principles of Robot Law”

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  • Dear Aiko; I’m glad to know that people like you is writing and concerning about social behavior between humans and robots. As if, I’m writing a research and Thesis for my PH.d at the University of Zaragoza, Spain. In this case, I’ll like to write a code of practices that protects human and robots rights, specialy Data protection and privacy foe both. So if you have any ideas, please, they’ll be like heaven for me. Also, after finishing (September 2011 I hope), I’ll send you a copy of it.
    Thank you for your time,

    • ak1k0k012um1 says:

      Thank you for taking an interest in this issue Andres, it’s fantastic to know that there are others out there continuing the pursuit. Just the other day I saw an article about the issue of robot rights, reaffirming to me that this area of discussion will surely of ever increasing importance in the coming years.

      How did you find my story? Did you know about the main page? (http://cargocollective.com/humanrobotrelations). That is the thesis of which my story is a component, but the issue of rights itself is mainly dealt with here, the other stories cover issues about aged care and robotics, robots in childcare and education, traditional perspectives concerning robots in Japan, and the development of robots for use in sexual intercourse.

      Best of luck with your Phd.

      A. Koizumi

  • asaravia2000 says:

    Hi, Aiko; it’s very interesting what you’re telling me. about the other issues, because from my (legal) point of view, all the items are related. For example, for childcare, the society needs laws that respect either the human and the robots’ rights. In that area, I’m working on: Just to establish a Code that can ensure the peace and behavior between both. I didn’t know about your other site, so I’m taking a look right now. I was googling for the robot rights and specialy for the Code of Ethics for Robots made by Korea, and arrived to you. Thank you so much, and every thing you need just shoot.

    • ak1k0k012um1 says:

      Has the Code of Ethics been published as yet? At the time in which I wrote this, only brief descriptions of the contents had been publicly released. From what information was released about the proposed Korean Charter, I created the mock Korean Charter of Ethics on this site. When (or if) the Charter is finalised I’d like to place a link to it on this site.

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  • Part of a Thesis by Chris Field for the University of Technology, Sydney

  • Akiko

  • Akiko’s Consciousness

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