Who gets to appoint arbitrators in Japan?

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Naturally, when contemplating arbitration, each party will want to nominate as many arbitrators to the panel as possible to increase their chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.  If one side gets to pick all of the arbitrators to a dispute, it is more likely that the dispute will be resolved in their favor.  However, arbitration agreements that grant too much power to only one party are invalid and therefore, clauses granting one party unilateral power to appoint arbitrators is invalid under Japanese law.

A common middle ground is for each party to pick one arbitrator and have the arbitration center pick a neutral third arbitrator.  This method should ensure that neither party has undue influence over a majority of the arbitrators.

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