A party that brings a lawsuit in Japan always has the opportunity to withdraw their claim before the defendant answers. However, once the defendant has answered the claim, the lawsuit cannot be withdrawn without the defendant’s permission.
While trials in Japan normally take place as close as possible to the location of witnesses and evidence, sometimes witnesses from far away locations must be consulted on some aspect of the trial. However, having these witnesses come to the court from a faraway location is not always possible. Therefore, in order to facilitate the appearance of witnesses from remote areas, Japanese courts sometimes allow for the examination of witnesses by video conference.
As alternatives to litigation, mediation and arbitration both share some similarities, but it is important to know the differences between the two before choosing which method is right for your situation. In general, mediation can only end with an agreement between the parties, while arbitration can end with a decision by an arbitrator.
Public prosecutors in Japan handle a variety of cases but in general they are split between two types: violations of Japan’s penal code (criminal cases) and violations of traffic laws. Statistically, the numbers of these cases are similar but criminal cases make up a small majority.