Can witnesses appear by video conference in Japan?

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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.

Having a witness appear by video conference is not limited to just cases where the witness lives far away.  In cases where the witness is afraid to be in the same room with the defendant, sometimes the witness will provide video testimony from another room in the courthouse.

There are certain restrictions on the ability of witnesses to appear by video conference in Japan so parties should always discuss the details of their case with their attorneys before making plans for a witness to testify.

If you have questions about litigation in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.