Ohara Law Office

February 17, 2017

Is it legal for a will to not leave anything for a spouse or child?

The advantage of drafting a will in Japan is that the drafter can choose who to give his or her assets to and in what amounts.  However, there are limits on how freely property can be distributed after death in Japan.  Japanese law dictates that, regardless of what is stated in a will, spouses and children are entitled to part of the decedent’s estate.  This minimum is set by law and can be claimed by spouses and children upon request to the court.
February 13, 2017

Who petitions for a bankruptcy in Japan?

In Japan, bankruptcy petitions can be brought by a variety of parties.  The most common situation is for the debtor to file for bankruptcy personally as a way to escape payment, but this does not always happen.  When a debtor refuses to file bankruptcy, it is often left to the creditor to file for bankruptcy on behalf of the debtor and submit evidence of unpaid debt as proof that the debtor can no longer make payments on debts.
February 10, 2017

What happens during an appeal in Japan?

Trial courts in Japan normally have one judge but appeals are heard by a panel of three judges.  These three judges reach their judgment on a majority vote.  Therefore, it is possible to still have a victorious result on appeal even though one judge does not agree with your position.
February 8, 2017

Is there any recourse for spouses in Japan who are facing domestic violence?

Domestic violence can take various forms, from physical abuse to mental abuse, and spouses who are victims of such abuse can feel as if there is nowhere to turn.  This is especially true if that spouse is a foreign national who might not have confidence in their Japanese language ability or have worries about their immigration status.  However, the Law on Prevention of Spouse Violence and Protection of Victims authorizes the Japanese government to support victims of such abuse through counseling, support and protective services.