Arbitrations are designed to be a fair and unbiased method to settle disputes without resulting to the judicial system. However, for some parties, the location of the arbitration still presents a potential for bias. In cases where the parties wish to ensure that the arbitration is as fair as possible, holding the arbitration in a neutral 3rd country may help ease the worry that the arbitrator might be biased.
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 However, once the defendant has answered the claim, the lawsuit cannot be withdrawn without the defendant’s permission.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.