News & Blog

February 24, 2016

When a foreign national dies in Japan, under which country’s laws is the probate handled?

Japanese laws regarding probate and inheritance generally only apply to Japanese citizens. This means that foreign nationals who lived, owned property and die in Japan will still have their assets distributed under the law of their home country, rather than Japan. This also includes foreign nationals who become permanent residents of Japan.
February 24, 2016

Is there a way to avoid inheriting debts in Japan?

There are two types of things that can be inherited when a relative dies: assets and debts. Most people will be happy to accept the assets of a deceased relative, but few will be willing to take on their debts. In addition, in many cases it would be unfair to force an heir to pay off the debts of a deceased relative.
February 24, 2016

How is property distributed when a Japanese person dies without a will?

While it is always best to have a will prepared just in case, Japanese law provides a system by which the deceased’s assets will be transferred to his or her living relatives.
February 24, 2016

Do the Japanese police keep a lost and found collection?

Lost property is returned at a surprising high rate in Japan. This includes misplaced money as well as objects. In fact, in 2003, over 2 billion yen (around $25 million) worth of cash was lost in Tokyo alone and, according to police statistics, over 90 percent was returned to its proper owner. The reason for this high rate of return lies not only in the fact that wallets have easily identifiable owners, but also in the legal framework Japan has established regarding lost and found objects.