Wage Garnishment in Japan

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Wage garnishment in Japan is possible in the form of a “compulsory execution”. One of the many tools a creditor has to force a debtor to fulfill his obligation in Japan is to use compulsory execution to force the debtor to pay.  In some cases this can mean confiscating the debtor’s property, but under certain circumstances, perhaps the easiest and most efficient way is to garnish the debtor’s wages.  The debtor’s wages may be seized on a continuous basis until the debt and the creditor’s additional costs have been satisfied.

It is important to note that Japan does not provide for an easy process to discover a person’s place of employment. Therefore, it can sometimes be difficult to collect a debt in cases where the debtors place of employment is not made public.

Even if you file a lawsuit and get the court’s order for payment, it doesn’t directly mean you can collect the money. If the company has no asset, or if they run away, it may not be possible to get the payment anyway.

Also, even if you are successful in a lawsuit, it is not always easy to collect. If the debtor’s company has no assets, or if that person flees, it can prevent successful collection. In addition, in Japan, generally you cannot make the other party to pay for legal fees (even if you win at the lawsuit).

In contrast, wage garnishment laws in the United States can vary by state, with Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas outlawing the practice in all cases except for child support, taxes, federally guaranteed student loans and court fines or restitution.  Other states are more permissive in what types of debts may be collected through wage garnishment.  However, most states set a limit on how much of a person’s salary may be garnished per month.

If you have any questions about compulsory execution or wage garnishment in Japan, please contact our office to set up a legal consultation with one of our lawyers.