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Collection of Claims

Here we would like to explain to you about general information on how to collect your claims under Japanese laws and our service for solution and costs.

General information

Grounds for demanding monetary payment: contracts or torts

The real-world address of the counter party is indispensable

Evidence rule in civil cases: burden of proof on disputed facts

The winning judgment may need to be enforced to collect money

Even if the client wins the case by a judgment, the client may further need to enforce the judgment in order to collect money according to the judgment. The client’s claim can be enforced pursuant to the judgment against the lost defendant’s properties; however, the court does not help the client to make a search for enforceable defendant’s properties. The client who has no idea where the defendant has his/her properties needs to hire, again, detectives or any other research companies at the client’s own expense; or the winning judgment becomes not worth the paper it is written on. This is another reason that many of civil cases tend to end by settlement that the plaintiff will not worry about collection of money, though usually the amount and/or payment plan are not necessarily satisfactory to the plaintiff.

Our service for solution

Out of court negotiation

We assist the client to collect money by out of court negotiation, usually start from sending a claim letter by contents certified registered mail (“Naiyo shomei yubin”) under the name of an attorney on behalf of the client. If the debtor agrees to pay the amount claimed, but in installments rather than in lump sum, we assist the client to execute an agreement for the future payments by the debtor, or a notarial deed at a notary public office. If the debtor does not agree to pay the amount claimed at all, then the out of court negotiation will end in failure. Then we ask the client to decide whether or not further legal action should be taken in court.

In court negotiation by mediation

We assist the client to collect money by in court negotiation through filing a petition for mediation with a court to seek an amicable solution between the parties if the counter party is expected to come to the negotiation table and agree to hold talks in the mediation procedure. The petition for mediation on civil affairs can be filed with summary courts and mediation committee consists of three members including a judge tries to find a way to settle the dispute between the parties by proposing mediation plans, if possible and appropriate. If the parties reach an agreement through mediation, then such agreement is recorded in an official court document and has the same legal effect as a final and conclusive judgment.

The mediation, however, will end in failure if the respondent does not appear to the court or the parties cannot reach an agreement even through mediation. Therefore, the client often wants to file a lawsuit immediately after the out of court negotiation ends unsuccessfully.


Costs for solution

Filing fees due to the court

Upon filing a complaint, the plaintiff is required to pay for filing fee to a court. The amount of the filing fee varies depend on the amount of economical benefits that is usually the same amount as the claim amount sought by the complaint. For example, if the amount of economical benefits is one million yen, the filing fee will be 10,000 yen; if the benefits amount is three million yen, the filing fee will be 20,000 yen; if the benefits amount is six million yen, then the filing fee will be 34,000 yen. When the case cannot recognize any concrete economical benefits, the amount of filing fee is calculated by assuming the amount of economical benefits as 1.6 million yen. In some other cases special rules apply to the calculation.

In addition to the filing fee, the court requires plaintiff to deposit some amount of postage in advance.

For the defendant, the court does not requires any filing fee to file an answer in writing and further legal briefs; however, if the defendant files a counter claim against the plaintiff, the defendant needs to pay for filing fee as well in principle.


Sakuma Law Office  3rd DMJ Bldg. 2nd Floor, 9-1 Kudan-Minami 3-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0074 JAPAN   Tel: +81-3-6272-6916   Fax: +81-3-6272-6917