Navigating Japan’s Deposition Rules & Requirements: A Guideline for Scheduling

Scheduling an overseas deposition in Japan has its own unique quirks and complexities. As such, depositions in Japan can quickly become a complicated affair. However, with proper guidelines and preparations, navigating the local requirements and protocols can be executed seamlessly. By utilizing the appropriate measures and approaches, one can successfully manage the nuances of the Japanese legal system and ensure the smooth execution of depositions.

For starters, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the U.S. Consulate in Osaka are the only two places in Japan where you can hold a deposition. Furthermore, obtaining approval for their conference rooms may take up to 6-8 weeks due to high demand. To address this issue, the Embassy and the Consulate have recently allowed for remote and hybrid depositions with their permission.

Here’s the official statement from the U.S. Department of State:

Video Testimony: Japanese authorities have informed the United States that Japan permits the taking of video testimony in accordance with the same requirements applicable to in-person testimony and upon notice to the Government of Japan in each instance.  Japan does not permit private counsel to take video testimony of persons located in Japan without the required prior permission and without being administered by U.S. consular officers on the premises of the U.S. Embassy or a U.S. consulate in Japan.

Japanese Special Deposition Visa

It is important to note that anyone who wishes to attend a deposition in Japan, including attorneys, interpreters, legal videographers, and court reporters, must obtain a Japanese Special Deposition visa.

If you are under a time constraint.

If you are under time constraints and don’t have 6-8 weeks, moving your deposition outside of Japan is a good way to expedite matters. Your witness in Japan could travel to a neighboring country where deposition taking is less restrictive. We suggest one of the following U.S. deposition-friendly countries like Taiwan or Thailand.

If being in Japan is a priority, then the best recourse to take is to hire court reporters and legal videographers familiar with the territory. That’s where Optima Juris comes in. We have court reporters and legal videographers locally in Japan who know all the local protocols inside and out. We are more than happy to share our expertise and insight with you. Moreover, we have close ties to several local interpreters and language specialists if you need these services for your deposition.

At Optima Juris, we believe in making the deposition process as efficient and easy as possible for our clients. If you should have any questions about your depositions, please do not hesitate to contact us or fill out a free quote to see how we can make your depositions and hearings a complete success.