The Japan Legal Support Center (JLSC, also known as Houterasu, (法テラス) is public corporation providing legal aid loans to low income individuals. The JLSC was established under the Comprehensive Legal Support Act passed in 2004. Qualifying individuals can make inquiries to local law firms regarding civil, divorce or criminal legal issues or a variety of other potential legal problems and have their legal fees prepaid as a loan from the JLSC.
Similar to a lawsuit in court, parties to an arbitration are allowed to have legal counsel represent their interests to the panel of arbitrators. However, while legal representation in litigation is limited to attorneys licensed in Japan, there is no rule in the Arbitration Act preventing foreign lawyers from representing clients in an arbitration.
The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction mandates that member countries establish or designate a Central Authority to handle cases brought under the Hague Convention. As the actual work of enforcing the Hague Convention falls on the staff of each country’s Central Authority, these offices play an important role in ensuring the smooth and efficient cooperation between countries according to the rules of the Hague Convention. In Japan, the Central Authority has been established in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A Japanese immigration control officer can temporarily detain a foreign national if he or she reasonably believes that the foreign national has committed a deportable offence such as overstaying a visa or committing a crime. However, this temporary detention is only allowed in situations that require urgent action and once the foreigner has been safely detained, the immigration officer must deliver the foreigner and any evidence relating to the offense to an immigration inspector within 48 hours from the start of the detention.