Japan - Enforcement of Money Judgments
Masafumi Kodama, Kitahama Partners
Originally from Enforcement of Money Judgments
Japan is not a party to any treaty on recognition and enforcement of foreign money judgment, and the rules therefor is found in the Japanese Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”). As explained later in more detail, CCP provides, in essence, that foreign final judgment shall be recognized in Japan if (i) the foreign court has jurisdiction from the perspective of Japanese law, (ii) the defendant’s certain procedural rights are respected, (iii) the content of the judgment is not against Japanese public policy, and (iv) there is reciprocity.
In 2011, CCP was amended to regulate international direct jurisdiction for civil cases. Subsequently, the Supreme Court ruled that the requirement (i) above will be reviewed by basically following the international jurisdiction provisions in the amended CCP and in light of the rule of reason.
I. PRESENT ATTITUDE TOWARD ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN MONEY JUDGMENTS
A. Describe the receptiveness of your government (including courts) toward enforcement of foreign money judgments.
Japanese courts have applied the above-mentioned 4 requirements for recognition of foreign money judgment without any passion to broaden or narrow their text. Legislative or administrative bodies have not made any interference on this issue, and do not seem to have the plan to amend the current rules on this issue.
B. Briefly describe recent illustrative attempts, whether successful or unsuccessful, to enforce a foreign money judgment in your country, particularly with regard to enforcement of any judgments from United States courts.
Currently, a big problem is that both Chinese and Japanese courts held that there would be no reciprocity between the two countries. Therefore, Chinese judgments are not enforceable in Japan, and vise versa. This issue will be dealt in III.B.5. below