News & Blog

August 2, 2018

Are there any limits on what can be contracted to in Japan?

Parties in Japan are free to contract regarding almost anything but contracts that are against public policy are considered void.  This makes sense and most people would agree that the concerns of public health and safety outweigh the parties’ right to enforce a contract for the sale of illegal drugs.  However, there is no specific line to determine which contracts will be considered as “against public policy,” and contracts that might infringe on public policy are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes these public policy goals may not be as obvious as the above example where the contract in […]
November 6, 2018

What documents are needed for Japanese and foreign couples marrying outside Japan?

A Japanese person marrying a foreign national in a foreign country obviously must first obey the laws of that foreign country.  While laws and regulations regarding marriage are generally similar in most developed countries, it is important to check with local authorities to ensure that all of the correct procedures are being followed. One of the requirements for marriage in a foreign country is likely to be the submission of a “certificate of eligibility to contract marriage.”  This certificate is often required because the foreign country must confirm that the Japanese citizen is not currently married in Japan and that […]
November 7, 2018

Is it necessary for a couple to go through divorce mediation if they are sure they want a divorce but cannot agree on a division of property?

In some cases both parties to a divorce may be convinced that they will never be able to work out their differences through mediation.  However, the family court judge is the only person who can make the final decision regarding whether divorce mediation will not be able to produce an agreement between the parties.  The judge will inform his or her decision by discussing with the mediators and family court investigator but the parties to the divorce do not get to choose when the mediation will end and a potential divorce trial can begin.  This means that even couples who […]
November 14, 2018

Are there any mandatory provisions that must be included in a contract?

For the most part, parties have freedom of contract in Japan and are allowed to include, or not include, whatever they want in their contract.  However, there are exceptions to this generally lenient rule and the mandatory provisions included in the Japan Civil Code are one exception. Certain contracts are subject to special mandatory provisions that are automatically inserted into the contract by law.  One example is for contracts governing the lease of land for the purpose of owning a building.  The Land Lease and House Lease Act provides that these contracts shall have a minimum term of 30 years.  […]