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.
The JLSC works with local law firms and qualifying clients to ensure that monetary issues do not prevent people from access to quality legal representation by advancing the legal fees on behalf of the client. The Ohara Law Office also accepts payment of legal fees through the JLSC. Once the case is finished, the client is asked to pay back the loan to the JLSC according to a reasonable installment plan. Law firms such as the Ohara Law Office can apply to the JLSC directly on behalf of qualifying clients. This system allows clients the freedom to pick their own legal representatives even when receiving legal aid.
If you have any questions about whether you qualify for legal aid in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.