Questions and Answers on Civil Procedure

Supreme Court of Japan > Judicial System in Japan > Ouestions and Answers on Civil Procedure

※ All court proceedings are conducted in the Japanese language (Article 74 of the Court Act).

No. 1 Civil Litigation and Its Proceedings

1. Types of civil litigation

2. Trial proceedings of civil litigation

(1) Commencement of proceedings—filing of an action
(2) Oral arguments, etc.
(3) Conclusion of litigation
(4) Appeal against a judgment— appeal to the court of second instance and final appeal

3. Court costs

(1) Burden of court costs
(2) Systems such as a grace period for payment

No. 2 Other Civil Cases and Their Proceedings

1. Labor tribunal proceedings

(1) Commencement of labor tribunal proceedings
(2) Hearing of labor tribunal proceedings
(3) Closing of labor tribunal proceedings
(4) Other procedures

2. Civil execution proceedings

(1) Compulsory execution proceedings and proceedings of auction for the exercise of a security interest
(2) Proceedings of execution against real property

A. Auction proceedings

B. Proceedings of execution against earnings from secured real property

(3) Proceedings of execution against claims

3. Insolvency proceedings

(1) Bankruptcy proceedings
(2) Ordinary civil rehabilitation proceedings
(3) Civil rehabilitation proceedings for individual debtors
What types of litigations are there in civil cases?
 The types of civil litigation can be largely categorized as follows.
The first type is a trial for seeking resolution of a legal dispute, mainly over property rights, between individuals. For example, actions seeking repayment of loans, seeking surrender of real property such as land or buildings, or seeking damages for an injury caused by an accident are categorized into this type. This type is called "ordinary litigation," and its proceedings are held in accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure, which provides for civil trial proceedings.
 The second type is a trial for seeking payment of money for bills, notes, or checks, which is tried pursuant to special provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure. This type is called an "action on bills, notes, or checks." In this litigation, evidence is taken only through examination of documents (examination of documentary evidence) and examination of the plaintiff and the defendant (examination of the parties) in order to be able to render a judgment at an early stage. However, it is possible to file a request for ordinary litigation after a judgment is rendered for the action on bills, notes, or checks. A plaintiff seeking payment of money for bills, notes, or checks can choose between instituting this type of trial or instituting ordinary litigation.
 The third type is a trial for seeking payment of money up to 600,000 yen through simple and expeditious trial proceedings. This type is called a "small claims action."
 Other types include "personal status litigation," which is a trial concerning a dispute on family relationships, such as an action for divorce or acknowledgment of parentage (for details, please see "No. 2 Personal Status Litigation and Its Proceedings" in "Questions and Answers on the Proceedings of Family Related Cases"), and "administrative litigation," which is a trial for seeking rescission of an act constituting the exercise of public authority by an administrative agency.
How can a civil trial be instituted?
 To institute a civil trial (file an action), a plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney (counsel) must submit a document called a "complaint" to the court. The plaintiff needs to state in the complaint what kind of judgment the plaintiff is seeking (the object of the claim) and the facts giving rise to the claim (the statement of the claim), and attach thereto a fiscal stamp of the amount stipulated by law as the fee for instituting the trial.
With which court should a civil trial be instituted?
 Whether the court to which a complaint should be submitted is a district court or a summary court (subject-matter jurisdiction) and the location of the court (territorial jurisdiction) are determined in accordance with the provisions of the Court Act, the Code of Civil Procedure, and other related laws.
Should a trial be instituted with a district court or a summary court?
 According to the Court Act, a summary court is the court of first instance for a civil case relating to a claim for an amount of 1.4 million yen or less, while a district court is the court of first instance for any other general civil case.
Should a trial be instituted with a court having jurisdiction over the place of domicile of the plaintiff or that of the defendant?
 According to the Code of Civil Procedure, the plaintiff should institute a trial with a court having jurisdiction over the defendant's place of domicile, in principle. However, there are exceptions. For example, a trial seeking damages due to tort may be instituted with the court having jurisdiction over the place where the tort took place, and a trial relating to real property may also be filed with the court having jurisdiction over the location of the real property in question.
After a trial is instituted, what kind of proceedings are followed in court?
 The judge who is to take charge of the case (the presiding judge if the case is tried by multiple judges (a panel)) checks the complaint, and if there is no defect in formality, designates the date and time for conducting trial proceedings in a courtroom open to the public (date for oral arguments), and summons the plaintiff and the defendant to appear at the court on that date and time. If there is a defect in the complaint, the judge (the presiding judge) orders the plaintiff to correct the defect (correction).
What kind of proceedings are conducted on the date for oral arguments?
 Oral arguments are held in a courtroom open to the public by one judge in the case of a summary court, one judge or a panel of three judges in the case of a district court, and by a panel of three judges, in principle, in the case of a high court. In the case of a district court, a case may be tried by one judge unless otherwise provided by law. However, a case of appeal against a judicial decision rendered by a summary court must be tried by a panel, and a case that has been decided to be tried by a panel due to its complexity or difficulty is also tried by a panel.
 On the date for oral arguments, trial proceedings are conducted in a courtroom open to the public under the direction of the presiding judge. The plaintiff and the defendant, or their attorneys (counsel), are required to appear at court, make allegations based on the briefs (documents containing the party's allegations and responses to the adverse party's allegations) that they have submitted to the court in advance, and submit evidence in support of their allegations. If the defendant is absent, a judgment against the defendant may be rendered unless the defendant has clarified in a written answer (a document in which the defendant responds to the plaintiff's claims, allegations, etc. stated in the complaint) or any other documents his/her intention to dispute the plaintiff's claims.
 If the presiding judge finds any contradictions or ambiguities in a party's allegations or evidence, he/she may ask questions to the party or order the party to prepare for clarifying the contradictions or ambiguities by the next date for proceedings (the court's authority to ask for explanation).
What kind of proceedings are conducted on the date for proceedings to arrange issues and evidence?
 In a case where facts necessary to make a decision are disputed between the parties, and there is a need to arrange issues and evidence, the court may conduct proceedings to arrange issues and evidence in order to prepare to conduct examination of evidence, including examination of witnesses, efficiently and intensively by narrowing down the points at dispute (issues).
 There are three types of proceedings to arrange issues and evidence, namely (i) preliminary oral arguments, (ii) preparatory proceedings, and (iii) preparatory proceedings by means of documents, and the court selects the most appropriate proceedings in accordance with the nature and details of the case. The preliminary oral arguments are held in a courtroom open to the public, and their features are that all sorts of acts necessary for arranging issues and evidence can be conducted. The preparatory proceedings do not need to be open to the public, and are normally held in a room other than a courtroom, such as an argument preparation room. Although there are certain restrictions, such as not being able to examine witnesses for arranging issues and evidence, it is possible to conduct the proceedings via a telephone conference system when either party resides far away from the court, for example. The preparatory proceedings by means of documents are conducted to arrange issues and evidence by allowing the parties to submit briefs, etc. without their appearance in court, and are mainly used when both parties live far away from the court. If necessary, a telephone conference system may be used.
 When closing these proceedings, the court and the parties are to confirm the facts to be proven through the subsequent examination of evidence.
What kind of proceedings are conducted on the date for examination of evidence?
 After the issues between the plaintiff and the defendant are clarified through the oral arguments or proceedings to arrange issues and evidence, in order to make a determination on these issues, the court conducts examination of evidence, which includes examination of documentary evidence, witnesses, and the parties. In examination of a witness, in principle, the party who requested the examination examines the witness first, after which the other party examines the witness. The court normally examines the witness after the parties have completed the examination. However, the presiding judge may ask questions to the witness whenever he/she considers it to be necessary. The Code of Civil Procedure and the Rules of Civil Procedure stipulate several rules for examination of witnesses, such as the order in which the witnesses, etc. are examined and the restrictions on leading questions. Whether or not to examine offered evidence is under discretion of the court, but the court basically cannot conduct examination of evidence without a request by the plaintiff or the defendant. An exception to this rule is the examination of the parties, which the court may conduct based on its own discretion.
 In the fact-finding process—a process in which the existence or nonexistence of the disputed facts is found based on the results of the examination of evidence—the probative value is evaluated at the discretion of the court.
What is a record of oral arguments?
 With regard to oral arguments, the court clerk who was present in the courtroom must prepare a record of the proceedings in the courtroom. The record must contain the statements made by witnesses, experts, and the parties at the courtroom, as well as information on allegations and submission of evidence by the parties. The court clerk must affix his/her name and seal to the record, and the presiding judge must affix a seal of approval to it.
How is a litigation closed?
 Litigation proceedings, which were commenced by submission of a complaint, are closed based on various grounds. The most typical ground for the closing of the proceedings is rendering of a judgment.
In what kind of cases is a judgment rendered?
 If the court, after conducting examination of evidence, considers that the plaintiff's claims should be upheld or denied, the court concludes the oral arguments and makes a determination. The determination is rendered in the courtroom based on a judgment document, in principle. A judgment document, which contains the main text of the judgment, the parties' allegations, and the grounds for the determination, among other matters, is promptly served on both parties after the judgment is rendered. However, for a case where there is no dispute in effect, such as where the defendant does not dispute the facts alleged by the plaintiff, a judgment may be rendered in a simple manner without being based on the original judgment document. In this case, the court clerk will prepare a record stating the main text of the judgment, etc. in lieu of preparation of a judgment document.
 When a judgment has been rendered, except in a case where the court declares that a provisional execution may be effected, compulsory execution cannot be carried out based on the judgment until the period for filing an appeal against the judgment has passed (until the judgment becomes final and binding).
In what cases other than rendering of a judgment is litigation closed?
 Trial proceedings are also closed due to withdrawal of the action or a judicial settlement. A judicial settlement has the same effect as a judgment that has become final and binding.
What kind of proceedings can a party follow when dissatisfied with a judgment?
 A party who is dissatisfied with the judgment rendered by the court of first instance may file an appeal with an upper instance court within two weeks from the day on which the judgment is served, and a party who is dissatisfied with a judgment rendered by the court of second instance (appellate instance) may file a final appeal.
 In other words, against a judgment rendered by the district court in the first instance, an appeal may be filed with a high court, and against a judgment rendered by the high court in the second instance, a final appeal may be filed with the Supreme Court.
 Against a judgment rendered by a summary court in the first instance, an appeal may be filed with a district court, and against a judgment rendered by a district court in the second instance, a final appeal may be filed with a high court. Against a judgment rendered by a high court in the third instance, an appeal may be filed with the Supreme Court as an exception, if it involves a constitutional issue. This appeal is called a "special appeal to the court of last resort."
Who bears the cost of civil litigation?
 The court costs stipulated by law are basically borne by the party defeated in the trial. The court costs include fees that are paid by affixing a revenue stamp to the complaint or any other written petition, the postal fees for sending documents, and travel expenses and daily allowances, etc. for witnesses. The court costs in this case do not include all expenses necessary for conducting a trial; for example, they do not include attorney fees.
What kind of systems, such as a grace period for payment, are available for parties that lack financial resources?
 Available systems include "legal aid" and the "lending system under Civil Legal Aid."
What is "legal aid"?
 It is a system that provides a grace period for payment of court costs in order to guarantee the right of access to the courts even for people who lack financial resources to pay court costs. However, the legal aid may not be granted when it is clear from the details of the petition that there is no probability of winning the trial.
What is the "lending system under Civil Legal Aid"?
 It is a system implemented by the Japan Legal Support Center. When people who lack financial resources need to retain attorneys, etc. in order to resolve their problems, the Japan Legal Support Center pays attorneys' fees, etc. For them after examining their financial resources and the probability of winning the case (or resolving the problem)?
What kind of disputes are subject to labor tribunal proceedings?
 The disputes subject to labor tribunal proceedings are those concerning civil affairs arising between an individual employee and an employer about matters in connection to labor relations (a civil dispute arising from individual labor relations), such as a case where an employee is dismissed by a company or has not been paid due salary by a company.
 Therefore, a so-called collective labor-management dispute arising between a labor union and an employer or a dispute subject to administrative case litigation, such as a dispute in which a public employee seeks rescission of a disciplinary action, is not subject to labor tribunal proceedings.
 Meanwhile, labor tribunal proceedings are a procedure for achieving resolution of a dispute whereby the proceedings are concluded by the end of the third date for proceedings, in principle. Therefore, it is considered to be inappropriate to use labor tribunal proceedings for a dispute which is expected to be difficult to resolve by the end of the third date for proceedings, such as a dispute concerning discrimination or a dispute concerning adverse alteration of rules of employment.
With which court should a petition for labor tribunal proceedings be filed?
 A petition for labor tribunal proceedings is to be filed with the district court having jurisdiction over the location of the domicile, business office, or any other office of the respondent, the district court having jurisdiction over the location of the employer's place of business at which the employee works (or has worked most recently), or a district court determined by an agreement between the parties.
 In addition to the main office of each district court, the Tachikawa Branch of the Tokyo District Court, the Hamamatsu Branch of the Shizuoka District Court, the Matsumoto Branch of the Nagano District Court, the Fukuyama Branch of the Hiroshima District Court, and the Kokura Branch of the Fukuoka District Court also handle labor tribunal cases.
Do I have to ask an attorney to file a petition for labor tribunal proceedings?
 You may file a petition for labor tribunal proceedings yourself, without asking an attorney to do so.
 Indeed, as labor tribunal proceedings are aimed at resolving a dispute in accordance with the circumstances of the case while taking into account the rights and interests between the parties, and are to be concluded by the end of the third date for proceedings, in principle, it is important to make sufficient preparations from the stage of filing a petition, and submit an adequate written petition and necessary evidence. In addition, because the parties mutually state their arguments orally on the date for proceedings, in principle, the petitioner should examine the written answer and evidence submitted by the respondent in detail, and should make precise allegations (arguments) and submit evidence on the date for proceedings.
 Whether to retain an attorney is ultimately your decision, but in order to make sufficient preparations from the stage of filing a petition, and to present precise allegations and evidence according to circumstances on the date for proceedings as mentioned above, it would be desirable to retain an attorney, who is a law expert, as needed.
What kind of documents should I prepare when filing a petition for labor tribunal proceedings?
 When filing a petition for labor tribunal proceedings, you need to prepare the following documents.
1. Written petition
2. Fee for filing a petition (revenue stamps) and postage stamps
3. If the respondent is a corporation, a transcript of the commercial register or a certificate of registered information, etc.
4. Basic documents that clarify the details of the employment relationship and documentary evidence of expected issues
For example:
- A document that shows the employment relationship, the amount of wage, or the amount of retirement allowance
→ An employment agreement, rules of employment (rules on wage or retirement allowance rules), salary statement, withholding certificate, job advertisement, etc.
- A document that shows the hours worked or the fact of retirement
→ An attendance book, time card, or retirement certificate, etc.
- A document that shows the time of and the reason for dismissal
→ A dismissal notice, statement of the reason for dismissal, etc.
* As the amounts of the fee for filing a petition, postage stamps, etc. differ depending on the contents of the petition, please inquire with the district court with which you will file the petition.
 In addition to the main office of each district court, the Tachikawa Branch of the Tokyo District Court, the Hamamatsu Branch of the Shizuoka District Court, the Matsumoto Branch of the Nagano District Court, the Fukuyama Branch of the Hiroshima District Court, and the Kokura Branch of the Fukuoka District Court also handle labor tribunal cases.
* When submitting a written petition, you need to attach one copy of the written petition for each respondent plus three, and when submitting a copy of documentary evidence, you need to attach one copy for each respondent.
What matters should a written petition for labor tribunal proceedings contain?
 A written petition for labor tribunal proceedings needs to contain the names of the parties (the petitioner and the respondent) (if a party is a company, also the name of its representative), their addresses and telephone numbers, as well as the following matters, and the petitioner or an agent thereof must affix his/her name and seal to it.
1. Object of the petition
2. Reasons for the petition
3. Expected issues and material facts concerning the issues
4. Evidence of each expected issue
5. Outline of the background to the petition, such as the negotiations conducted between the parties (including those conducted in the course of mediation or other procedures)
What should I do if I become a respondent of labor tribunal proceedings?
 If you become a respondent of labor tribunal proceedings, the court will send you a writ of summons for the date for proceedings, along with documents such as a request for a written answer, a copy of the written petition for labor tribunal proceedings, and a copy of documentary evidence. A respondent needs to read and examine those documents carefully, and by the specified date, submit documents including a written answer containing counterarguments against the written petition and the outline of the background of the petition, such as the negotiations conducted between the parties, and a copy of documentary evidence to the court, and also send a copy of each of those documents to the petitioner.
 As labor tribunal proceedings are concluded by the end of the third date for proceedings, in principle, the respondent needs to submit his/her arguments and evidence at an early stage. In particular, the written answer is an important document for informing the labor tribunal hearing the case of the respondent's arguments against the written petition. In order to make preparations, such as preparing an adequate written answer and submitting necessary documentary evidence, within a short period of time and to present precise allegations and evidence on the date for proceedings, it would be desirable to retain an attorney, who is a law expert, as needed.
 When retaining an attorney, it is important to consult the attorney as promptly as possible after receiving a written petition.
What is the composition of a labor tribunal hearing a case?
 A labor tribunal is composed of one labor tribunal judge (a judge) and two labor tribunal members who have expert knowledge and experience in labor relations.
 The labor tribunal members are appointed from among persons who have an experience of actually engaging in processing of labor disputes from the standpoint of an employee or an employer (for example, an officer of a labor union or a person in charge of personnel labor affairs in an enterprise), and who have acquired knowledge on the actual state, practices, systems, etc. of labor relations during that course of experience. However, even if a labor tribunal member has an experience either as an employer or employee, he/she will not side with either of the parties, but will participate in the proceedings and determinations only from a neutral and fair standpoint.
What kind of proceedings are conducted on the date for labor tribunal proceedings?
 A labor tribunal hears both parties' arguments on facts and legal points, arranges the points at issue, and conducts necessary examination of evidence.
 Meanwhile, labor tribunal proceedings are not open to the public, but the labor tribunal may permit observation by a person whom it considers to be appropriate.
In labor tribunal proceedings, how is a case resolved through discussions (conciliation)?
 While a labor tribunal conducts proceedings on the rights and interests between the parties with regard to the dispute relating to the petition on the date for labor tribunal proceedings, if the case is likely to be resolved through discussions between the parties, the labor tribunal attempts conciliation at any time. If the parties reach an agreement, the dispute may be resolved amicably through conciliation.
 If a case cannot be resolved through conciliation, the labor tribunal renders a labor tribunal decision.
In what kind of cases is a labor tribunal decision rendered? Also, what are the contents of the decision?
 If a labor tribunal hears a case on the date for labor tribunal proceedings, but the case cannot be resolved through conciliation, the labor tribunal renders a labor tribunal decision, which is necessary for resolving the case in accordance with the actual conditions of the case while taking into account the rights and interests between the parties that were found as a result of the proceedings and various circumstances that arose in the course of the procedure.
 In a labor tribunal decision, it is possible to achieve flexible and coordinated resolution of the case while utilizing the expert knowledge of the labor tribunal members. For example, even if the labor tribunal determines as a result of proceedings that a dismissal by an employer is invalid, in some cases it may render a labor tribunal decision to the effect that the employer is to terminate the labor contract with the employee while paying the employee a reasonable amount of settlement money.
What should I do if I am dissatisfied with a labor tribunal decision?
 A party that is dissatisfied with a labor tribunal decision may file a challenge with the court against the decision within two weeks from the day following the day on which the party received the written tribunal decision or the day on which the labor tribunal decision was announced. This challenge is filed by way of submitting a written challenge to the court.
 When a lawful challenge has been filed, the labor tribunal decision ceases to be valid. In this case, the labor tribunal case shifts to litigation, and an action is deemed to have been filed at the time that the petition for labor tribunal proceedings was filed.
What happens if no challenge is filed against a labor tribunal decision, and the decision becomes final and binding?
 If neither party files a lawful challenge against a labor tribunal decision, the decision becomes final and binding, and gains the same effect as a judicial settlement.
 Therefore, if, for example, a labor tribunal decision ordering the respondent to pay money to the petitioner becomes final and binding, the respondent must pay the ordered amount of money. If the respondent fails to pay the money voluntarily, the petitioner may follow the procedure of compulsory execution.
Apart from a case where a labor tribunal decision is rendered, in what kind of cases is a labor tribunal case closed?
 A labor tribunal case is closed not only by the rendering of a labor tribunal decision, but also by the establishment of conciliation and withdrawal of the petition for labor tribunal proceedings, among others.
 In addition, if the labor tribunal determines that it is not appropriate to conduct the labor tribunal proceedings, such as the case being complicated, it may close the labor tribunal case. In this case, the labor tribunal case shifts to litigation, as in the case where a challenge is filed against a labor tribunal decision.
What procedures, other than labor tribunal proceedings, are available to resolve an individual labor dispute?
 Various procedures are available, including court procedures, such as civil litigation (district court, summary court), small claims action, and civil conciliation, and procedures by non-court organizations, such as mediation conducted by a dispute coordinating committee established in a Prefectural Labor Bureau. If the proceedings for the case are unlikely to be concluded by the end of the third date for proceedings, it may be better to file litigation from the start, and if you want to have your arguments heard in detail in the presence of a third party, civil conciliation could also be used. In addition, if you are only seeking payment of money in an amount not more than 600,000 yen, you can use a small claims action for which the trial is completed within a day, in principle. For information on the respective court proceedings, please refer to the following leaflet and information on the respective procedures provided on this website.
 It is important to consider the optimal procedure to use by taking into consideration the characteristics of the respective procedures.
What is a title of obligation?
 A title of obligation is an official document indicating the existence, scope, creditor, and debtor of a claim that is planned to be realized by compulsory execution. This title of obligation is required for carrying out compulsory execution. Examples of titles of obligation include the following.

a. A final and binding judgment
 This is a judgment that orders, for example, "pay one million yen" or "surrender the building of XX," which no longer has room to be revoked by an upper instance court.

b. A judgment with a declaration of provisional execution
 A judgment on performance attaching a declaration of provisional execution (the main text of the judgment is, for example, "this judgment may be provisionally executed") may be executed before becoming final and binding.

c. A demand for payment with a declaration of provisional execution

d. A record of a settlement or acknowledgment
What kind of preparation is needed to file a petition for compulsory execution?
 In the case of filing a petition for compulsory execution proceedings, you should obtain from the court that rendered a judgment in your favor, etc., a certificate that the judgment, etc. has been served on the other party (a certificate of service), and have a certificate of execution granted for that judgment, etc. However, there are also judgments, etc., such as a demand for payment with a declaration of provisional execution or a judgment of an action on small claim, that do not require grant of a certificate of execution.
 Next, you should investigate what kind of property the other party holds. Even if you file a petition for compulsory execution, unless the other party holds the target property, the execution will be unsuccessful. In addition, depending on the target property, there are differences in whether there is a need to make payment to the court by means of revenue stamps or postal stamps or as procedural costs (the court calls such costs a "deposit"), as well as in their amounts. For example, in order to carry out seizure of real property, a large amount of deposit is required in advance and sometimes the petitioner cannot receive liquidating distribution due to mortgages or the like established thereon. Therefore, it is important to choose the property to be seized that corresponds to the amount claimed. If certain conditions are met, such as when the petitioner is unable to receive full payment by implementing compulsory execution against known property, a petition for a property disclosure procedure (a procedure to have the opposite party declare the existence or nonexistence, location, etc. of the party's property) may be filed.
 For documents required for filing a petition, please inquire with the court with which you will file the petition.
How can I look for the real property I wish to purchase?
 A public notice of the real property to be sold in period bidding is posted in the posting area of the court or on a bulletin board in the court building by two weeks before the day of the commencement of the bidding period.
 The public notice contains important matters concerning the sales, including information of the real property to be sold, the bidding period, the date, time, and place for carrying out proceedings on the bid opening date, the standard sales price (the price that is to serve as the standard for the sales price of real property, which is determined based on an appraisal by an appraiser; equivalent to the conventional minimum sales price) of the real property, the minimum purchase price (the price obtained by deducting from the standard sales price an amount equivalent to two-tenths of that price; the minimum price at which a purchase offeror may make a purchase offer), and the amount and the method of provision of the guarantee that must be provided when making a purchase offer. If you wish to make a purchase, please first look at this public notice and choose the real property you wish to purchase.
 Please also refer to information on real property provided in newspapers and on the real property auction property information site BIT (Broadcast Information of Tri-set system) on the internet (the publication method differs by court).
How can I acquire information on the real property?
 Once you find the real property you wish to purchase, you should well research that real property. For this purpose, the court will have ready copies of a set of three documents—a description of property, a written report of the investigation of current conditions, and an appraisal report—by one week prior to the date of commencement of the bidding period, and makes them available for anyone to see (some courts make such information available on the real property auction property information site BIT on the internet).
 These documents can provide you with an overview of the current conditions of the real property and the associated legal relations. However, please note that they are only reference materials.
 As it will be a large purchase, if you intend to make a purchase offer, make sure to do examine and check the real property for yourself, such as visiting the site and looking of the property well with your own eyes, and checking the legal relations by also visiting the registry (a preliminary inspection (on-site viewing) is conducted for some real property). If it is difficult to examine or check it or if the legal relations are complicated, it would be advisable to consult an expert such as an attorney.
How do I make a purchase offer?
Purchase offer (Purchase offer is to be made as follows:)

a. Bidding method
* The method of period bidding, which is currently the most frequently used method for selling real property at an auction, is explained below (period bidding is a method whereby a court clerk specifies a bidding period within a range of one week to one month, accepts bids during that period, opens the bids on a separately specified bid opening date, and determines the highest purchase offeror).
 A person who intends to tender a bid receives a bid document form and an envelope from a court execution officer, and states necessary matters on the form. In period bidding, bidding is normally conducted simultaneously for a large number of real properties, so please be careful not to tender a bid for another real property by mistake. The bid price must not be less than the minimum purchase price stated in the public notice.
 The bidding method is to submit the bid document to the court execution officer either directly or by postal mail. In the case of directly submitting the bid document to the court execution officer, please enclose the bid document in the envelope received from the court execution officer, seal it, and state the bid opening date on the envelope, and submit it within the bidding period. In the case of tendering a bid by postal mail, please enclose the bid document in the envelope received from the court execution officer, seal it, state the bid opening date on the envelope, and enclose that envelope in yet another envelope, and send it by registered mail to reach the court execution officer within the bidding period. A bidding document delivered after the bidding period will be invalid.
 A bid document once submitted cannot be corrected or rescinded.

b. Provision of a guarantee
 When tendering a bid, you must provide a guarantee at the same time. The amount of the guarantee is stated in the public notice.
 The provision of a guarantee must be conducted by any of the following methods.
 The first method is to transfer money in an amount equivalent to the amount of guarantee from the nearest financial institution to the court's deposit account before tendering the bid, affix the accompanying document for the acceptance procedure of money in custody (the second sheet of the transfer request form) bearing a receipt stamp of the financial institution to the form of the bid deposit transfer certificate, and submit it together with the bid document. In this case, the bid will be invalid unless the transferred money is deposited into the court's deposit account within the bidding period, so please make the transfer at an early timing, preferably by wire transfer. The forms of the bid deposit transfer certificate and the transfer request form (triplicate) are available, along with the bid document form, at the Court Execution Officers' Office.
 The second method is to conclude a contract for consignment of the payment guarantee with a bank, a non-life insurance company, the Norinchukin Bank, the Shoko Chukin Bank, a federation of Shinkin banks whose district covers the entire nation, a Shinkin bank, or a labor bank, and submit a certificate of the contract. This method is premised on the fact that a bank, etc. would conclude a contract for consignment of the payment guarantee with you, so please first consult a bank, etc.

c. Bid opening
 When the bidding period ends, bids are opened on the bid opening date for which a public notice was given in advance.
 Bids are opened in the sales area within the court by way of a court execution officer opening the envelopes containing the bid documents. The bidder who offered the highest price is specified as the "highest purchase offeror." The court keeps the guarantee provided by the highest purchase offeror, but returns the guarantees to the other bidders.
 For further details on the bidding method, please inquire with the Court Execution Officers' Office within the court.
How are the proceedings for transfer of ownership conducted?
Proceedings for transfer of ownership is to be conducted as follows:

a. Order permitting the sale
 When the highest purchase offeror is decided, court is held on the "date for ordering a sale" (for which a public notice was given in advance), and the court issues an order as to whether or not the real property should be sold to the highest purchase offeror. The sale is not permitted in certain cases, such as where the highest purchase offeror lacks the qualification to purchase the real property, but normally, the sale is permitted, and the highest purchase offeror becomes the purchaser.

b. Payment of the price
 When the court's order permitting the sale to the highest purchase offeror becomes final and binding, a court clerk specifies an appropriate date within one month from the date on which the order became final and binding as the time limit for paying the price, and notifies the purchaser of the time limit. The purchaser must pay the price within the specified time limit by any of the following methods: a method to transfer money from the nearest financial institution to the court's deposit account, receive the accompanying document for the acceptance procedure of money in custody bearing a receipt stamp of the financial institution, and bring it to the court; a method to bring cash to the court; or a method to pay cash to and receive the receipt for money in custody from a branch of the Bank of Japan, for example, which has been designated by the court, and bring the receipt to the court. If the purchaser fails to pay the price, the purchaser will lose the qualification to purchase the real property, and will not be able to claim return of the guarantee he/she had provided. Therefore, if you intend to tender a bid, you will need to prepare funds (or check whether a loan is available) in advance by, for example, consulting a partner financial institution, so as to be able to pay the price in full within a short period after the bidding.
 When the purchaser pays the price, the purchaser becomes the owner of the real property.
Who carries out the registration proceedings?
 When the price is paid, the court commissions the registry to register the transfer of ownership to the purchaser. At the same time, the court commissions the registry to cancel registration of all rights on the real property other than those stated in the earlier mentioned "description of property" as rights which the purchaser must succeed to. However, the registration and license tax and any other costs required for the transfer registration proceedings, etc. are to be borne by the purchaser.
What are earnings from secured real property?
 The earnings from secured real property refer to rents on buildings, land, etc.
What is the difference between the execution against earnings from secured real property and seizure of rents, etc. through proceedings of execution against claims (extension of security interest to proceeds of collateral)?
 In proceedings of execution against claims, it is necessary to identify the lessees and seize the rent claims for each lessee, and the creditor will need to collect the rents by him/herself. On the other hand, in execution against earnings from secured real property, even if some lessees remain unknown as a result of a search on the lessees conducted before filing the petition, the proceedings can be commenced for each real property. In addition, an administrator appointed by the court maintains and manages the real property and collects earnings from the real property, so generally, efficient and stable management of property and collection of earnings would be possible.
What happens when real property is sold through auction proceedings?
 When real property is sold through auction proceedings, and the ownership of the real property is transferred to a new owner, the debtor (the original owner) loses the ownership on the real property, and all mortgages on the real property will be extinguished, so the proceedings of execution against earnings will be rescinded and terminated.
In the case of seizing the other party's compensation, for example, is it possible to seize the full amount?
  In the case of seizure of compensation, it is possible to seize one-fourth of the amount of the other party's compensation (if the monthly amount of compensation exceeds 440,000 yen, an amount deducting 330,000 yen). However, the compensation cannot be seized if the other party has already retired.
What should I do if a third party debtor does not pay voluntarily?
 Then, you would make effort to collect the claims by filing an action seeking performance of the claims to be seized against the third party debtor.
In what case must a third party debtor make a statutory deposit?
 A third party debtor must make a statutory deposit when multiple seizures or provisional seizures are conducted, and the total amount of the (provisional) seizures exceeds the amount of debt, or when a demand for liquidating distribution is made (see Article 156, paragraph (2) of the Civil Execution Act). In other cases as well, it is possible for a third party debtor to make a statutory deposit voluntarily (see Article 156, paragraph (1) of the Civil Execution Act).
What are the differences between bankruptcy proceedings, civil rehabilitation proceedings for individual debtors, and special conciliation proceedings?
 In bankruptcy proceedings, the court orders commencement of bankruptcy proceedings and appoints a bankruptcy trustee, after which the bankruptcy trustee realizes the debtor's property and provides a liquidating distribution to the creditor. Normally, a liquidating distribution is made by having the debtor submit all of his/her property as of the date on which an order of commencement of bankruptcy proceedings was issued.
 Meanwhile, even if an order of commencement of bankruptcy proceedings is issued, the debtor is not automatically exempted from repayment of the existing debts.
 In civil rehabilitation proceedings for individual debtors, an individual who is likely to earn income in the future and who has unsecured debts totaling an amount not more than 50 million yen formulates a rehabilitation plan, and the court confirms that plan after hearing the opinions of the creditor and other people. In these proceedings, as long as the debtor makes certain repayment to the creditor according to the rehabilitation plan, the debtor may be exempted from repayment of the remaining debt.
 In special conciliation proceedings, the debtor and the creditor hold discussions through the intervention of a conciliation committee, and decide on the repayment method and other matters through agreement between them. If the debtor is unable to reach an agreement with the creditor, the debtor is unable to be exempted from repayment of a part of the debt or have the repayment period extended.
Will a debtor suffer any restrictions (disadvantages) if an order of commencement of bankruptcy proceedings is issued?
 Even if an order of commencement of bankruptcy proceedings is issued, the debtor will not lose his/her voting right or eligibility for election, but will be subject to various qualification restrictions under law. For example, the debtor will not be able to become an attorney, certified public accountant, real estate broker, insurance agent, or security guard. In addition, the debtor will not be able to leave his/her place of residence without the court's permission, and postal mail addressed to the debtor may be delivered to the bankruptcy trustee, who may check the contents of the postal mail.
If an order of commencement of bankruptcy proceedings is issued, what happens to the debts?
 Even if an order of commencement of bankruptcy proceedings is issued, the debtor is not automatically exempted from repayment of the debts. In order to be exempted from the repayment, the debtor needs to file a petition for grant of discharge and receive an order to grant of discharge. If this order of grant of discharge is issued, the debtor will be exempted from repayment, except for taxes, fines, child support, etc.
 If a petition for bankruptcy proceedings is filed, it is deemed that a petition for grant of discharge has also been filed, in principle.
With which court should a petition for bankruptcy proceedings and a petition for grant of discharge be filed? In addition, what is the approximate amount of costs to be paid to the court for filing a petition?
 A petition for bankruptcy proceedings is filed with the district court having jurisdiction over the debtor's place of domicile.
 A petition against the debtor's husband or wife, joint and several debtors, and guarantor may be filed with the same district court, even if their places of domicile differ from that of the debtor.
 The necessary costs include revenue stamps of 1,000 yen as a fee, postal stamps, and the following costs.

1. In the case of appointing a bankruptcy trustee in carrying out the proceedings, the cost for appointment of the bankruptcy trustee will be needed in addition to the cost for publishing a public notice in an official gazette.
2. In the case where the debtor has extremely limited property and the proceedings are to be discontinued without appointing a bankruptcy trustee, the cost for publishing a public notice in an official gazette will mainly be needed.

 A petition for grant of discharge is filed with the district court with which the petition for bankruptcy proceedings was filed. The necessary costs include revenue stamps of 500 yen as a fee, postal stamps, and the cost for publishing a public notice in an official gazette.
 As the specific amounts and postal stamps that are needed differ depending on the contents of the petition, please inquire with the district court with which you will file the petition.
What kind of documents should I prepare when filing a petition?
 When an individual debtor files a petition for bankruptcy proceedings, documents including the following will be needed in addition to a written petition.

1. A written statement (stating matters such as the circumstances leading to the filing of a petition for bankruptcy proceedings, the status of living, and the status of property)
2. A list of creditors (stating matters such as the creditors' names and the details and outstanding amounts of debts)
3. A copy of the residence record (in the case of a foreign national, a copy of the alien registration certificate)
4. An inventory of assets (stating the breakdown of the debtor's property)
5. A withholding certificate / salary statement (if the debtor currently receives salaries)
6. A retirement benefits payment certificate (if the debtor was working until recently)

 In the case of filing a petition for grant of discharge, a list of creditors will be required in addition to a written petition. If a petition for bankruptcy proceedings is filed by an individual debtor, it is deemed that a petition for grant of discharge has also been filed, in principle.
 As the documents to be submitted differ depending on the contents of the petition, please inquire with the district court with which you will file the petition.
I received a written notice of an order of commencement of bankruptcy proceedings from a court. What should I do?
 If you have claims against the bankrupt, you may file proofs of bankruptcy claims with the court in order to receive liquidating distribution. In that case, after carefully reading the written notice, please state necessary matters in a written notification of bankruptcy claims, attach copies of documents proving the existence of claims (such as negotiable instruments, bills, and promissory notes) to it, and submit it to the court within the prescribed period.
 If you submit the written notification after the prescribed period, you may have to pay a separate cost for investigating the claims.
What are the features of ordinary civil rehabilitation proceedings?
 A debtor who is facing financial difficulties can file a petition for the proceedings even before coming to a financial deadlock.
 In addition, the debtor continues his/her business, in principle, after the commencement of the proceedings, and although a supervisor who will supervise the debtor will be appointed, the manager of the business does not change. However, if a trustee is appointed as an exceptional measure, the manager will no longer be able to continue his/her business by him/herself.
 Other characteristics of the proceedings include the fact that the proceedings are fair and transparent for the creditors in that the debtor needs to hold an explanatory meeting for the creditors by him/herself and needs to actively provide information on the status of property and the prospect for reconstruction.
With which court should a petition for ordinary civil rehabilitation proceedings be filed? In addition, what is the approximate amount of costs to be paid to the court for filing a petition?
 A petition for ordinary civil rehabilitation proceedings is filed with the district court having jurisdiction over the location of the debtor's business office or other relevant location. The necessary costs include revenue stamps of 10,000 yen as a fee, postal stamps, the cost for publishing a public notice in an official gazette, and if a supervisor or trustee is appointed, the cost for the appointment.
 As the specific amounts and postal stamps that are needed differ depending on the contents of the petition, please inquire with the district court with which you will file the petition.
What kind of documents should I prepare when filing a petition for a petition for civil rehabilitation proceedings?
 When filing a petition for civil rehabilitation proceedings, documents including the following will be needed in addition to a written petition stating matters such as the current status in which continuation of business has become difficult and opinions on the policy for preparing a proposed rehabilitation plan.

1. A transcript of the commercial register (if the debtor is a corporation)
2. A copy of the residence record (if the debtor is an individual)
3. A list of creditors (stating matters such as the creditors' names and the details and outstanding amounts of debts)
4. An inventory of assets (stating the breakdown of the debtor's property)
5. A document clarifying the prospect for financing

 As the documents to be submitted differ depending on the contents of the petition, please inquire with the district court with which you will file the petition.
I received a written notice of an order of commencement of rehabilitation proceedings from a court. What should I do?
 If you have claims against the person who filed the petition for the civil rehabilitation proceedings, you can participate in the rehabilitation proceedings by filing proofs of claims. In that case, after carefully reading the written notice, please state necessary matters in a written notification of claims and submit it to the court within the prescribed period.
 If you submit the written notification after the prescribed period, you will not be able to participate in the rehabilitation proceedings and may lose your claims.
What are the features of civil rehabilitation proceedings for individual debtors?
 A petition for civil rehabilitation proceedings for individual debtors may be filed by the following persons: (1) a person who is likely to earn income continuously in the future and who has unsecured debts totaling an amount not more than 50 million yen (rehabilitation for individuals with small-scale debts); or (2) such person whose future income can be identified in a reliable and easy manner, like a salaried worker (rehabilitation for salaried workers, etc.). The proceedings are characteristic in that they are a simplified form of ordinary civil rehabilitation proceedings. For example, in order to have a rehabilitation plan confirmed, the consent of a number of creditors is required in ordinary civil rehabilitation proceedings, but negative consent (meaning that a number of creditors do not oppose the plan) would suffice in civil rehabilitation proceedings for individual debtors.
With which court should a petition for civil rehabilitation proceedings for individual debtors be filed? In addition, what is the approximate amount of costs to be paid to the court for filing a petition?
 A petition for civil rehabilitation proceedings for individual debtors is filed with the district court having jurisdiction over the debtor's place of domicile or other relevant location. The necessary costs include revenue stamps of 10,000 yen as a fee, postal stamps, the cost for publishing a public notice in an official gazette, and if an individual rehabilitation commissioner is appointed, the cost for the appointment.
 As the specific amounts and postal stamps that are needed differ depending on the contents of the petition, please inquire with the district court with which you will file the petition.
What kind of documents should I prepare when filing a petition for civil rehabilitation proceedings for individual debtors?
 When filing a petition for civil rehabilitation proceedings for individual debtors, documents including the following will be needed in addition to a written petition stating the occupation, income, and the circumstances leading to the filing of a petition.

1. A list of creditors (stating matters such as the creditors' names and the details and outstanding amounts of debts)
2. A copy of the residence record (in the case of a foreign national, a copy of the alien registration certificate)
3. A withholding certificate / salary statement
4. An inventory of assets (stating the breakdown of the debtor's property)

 As the documents to be submitted differ depending on the contents of the petition, please inquire with the district court with which you will file the petition.
I heard that if I follow certain proceedings, I do not need to let go of my housing even if it becomes difficult to repay the housing loan. What kind of proceedings are they?
 In civil rehabilitation proceedings (not limited to civil rehabilitation proceedings for individual debtors), if there is a mortgage on housing loan claims for purchase or renovation of housing, special clauses on extension of the repayment period or the like may be included in the rehabilitation plan. If this rehabilitation plan is confirmed, the debtor does not need to let go of his/her housing as long as he/she makes repayment according to the rehabilitation plan.
In civil rehabilitation proceedings for individual debtors, what would be the approximate amount I would have to repay?
 (1) The repayment must be in installment payments over a period of three years (five years at maximum). (2) The total amount of repayment must not be less than one-fifth of the total amount of the debts, etc. (but not less than one million yen and not more than three million yen) if the total amount of unsecured debts is not more than 30 million yen, and must not be less than one-tenth of the total amount of unsecured debts if the total amount of unsecured debts is more than 30 million yen and not more than 50 million yen. (3) In the case that the debtor makes repayment by disposing of his/her own property, the total amount of repayment must not be less than that amount (liquidation value). In rehabilitation for salaried workers, etc., it is also necessary to repay an amount not less than the amount obtained by deducting the costs necessary for living from the annual income (the amount of disposable income) of the debtor calculated for two years, in addition to satisfying the three requirements above.
I received a written notice of an order of commencement of proceedings of rehabilitation for salaried workers, etc. from a court. What should I do?
 If you have claims against the person who filed the petition for the civil rehabilitation proceedings for individual debtors, and if you do not disagree with the amounts and details of the claims stated in the list of creditors enclosed with the written notice, you can participate in the rehabilitation proceedings without making notification. However, if there is any error in the amounts or details of the claims stated in the list of creditors or if any claims are missing in the list, you may file proofs of rehabilitation claims with the court in order to participate in the rehabilitation proceedings.