Japanese Hesitate to Sue

Japanese Lawsuit Culture

With only 15,000 attorneys and the population of Japan being 126 million, we have only one fifth of attorneys per capita as Germany and one-twentieth of that of The United States. These low figures are a result of having fewer cases in Japan and the people preferring not to litigate.

Japanese would rather negotiate and come to a mutual agreement originating from trust, than calling upon a third party unrelated to situation.

Especially among minor enterprises there is little significance placed on contracts. There are only a few lawsuits because a major influence is trust, among these business transactions. A common raison d’etre among Japanese companies is having alliances and a major alliance could be considered with their customer, therefore keeping mutual trust is optimal. Up until just recently, foreign companies had to form an alliance with a Japanese company to enter the Japanese market.

In keeping their trust in the industry a Japanese company would be reluctant in filing a case against another, litigation would sever ties between the companies, and thus avoiding a case is imperative; once a dispute arises it should be quickly resolved. This technique needs to be acquired by many Japanese attorneys

Such business ways differ from"urope, Northern America and other Asian countries, it is necessary for foreign firms to understand these distinctive differences in order to enter the Japanese market with business savvy.

Kaneko Hirohito Law Office
Wako-Ginza 8-chome Bldg. 7F 8-10-4, Ginza, Chuo-ku Tokyo 104-0061, Japan [MAP]
Tel: 03-3574-8535 / Fax: 03-3574-7144 / Email: