Your Options for Deposing a Witness in Japan (Updated 2021)

Taking U.S. depositions in Japan is permissible. However, all U.S. depos in Japan must take place at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo or the U.S. Consulate in Osaka.  Currently the Embassy and Consulate are NOT accepting reservations for depositions. They will make an announcement on their website when the policy changes.  You can still get the testimony you need by using our workaround.


Until Embassy and Consulate reservations open back up, the easiest solution is to have your witness travel to a nearby deposition-friendly country and conduct your deposition there.  There are no regulations for taking your deposition outside of Japan,  but travel restrictions due to COVID-19 need to be considered. Our international depo experts can help you figure out the logistics and find the best solution for your deposition.  Simply,  contact us to see how we can help.

Remote Depos

Japanese authorities have informed the United States that Japan DOES NOT permit the taking of telephone or video testimony.  If you would like to conduct your deposition virtually, your witness would need to travel to a nearby deposition-friendly country that allows video testimony. Contact us to go over your options.

How Depos in Japan Usually Happen

Once the Embassy and Consulate open back up, here’s the essential info you need to know on how to conduct a depo in Japan:

  1. . You will need to secure a reservation with the Consulate or Embassy and submit a list of all deposition participants and all electronic equipment you will bring.
  2. A Japanese Special Deposition visa is required for attorneys and other relevant personnel (including court reporters, legal videographers, and interpreters) to go to Japan for the purpose of attending a deposition.
  3. Give yourself 6-8 weeks to plan.
  4. Optima Juris has experienced, Asia-based court reporters available for your deposition in Japan

Learn more about depositions in Japan: