John is joined by Hisaya Kimura, Senior Counsel in the Tokyo office of Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu. They discuss aspects of the Japanese legal system, including Japan’s historical adoption of the German civil procedure system and subsequent incorporation of elements, such as cross-examination, of the American system. They also discuss how Japanese litigants typically exchange multiple detailed briefs covering both factual and legal issues in detail for years before trial followed by trials that last less than a day with only one witness testifying for each side. They also discuss key differences between Japanese and American litigation, including the absence of discovery, juries, and punitive damages in Japan as well as the application of the beyond reasonable doubt standard in civil litigation. Finally, they discuss recent changes to the legal profession in Japan, including the expansion of Japanese law firms beyond litigation to include advice on regulatory, M&A and competition issues, the expansion of leading Japanese firms into international markets and the impact foreign firms have had by opening Japanese offices.
Published: Jan 25 2024