It is common to talk about how few trial lawyers Japan has compared to many other countries. What is interesting is the mechanisms that exist to make them unnecessary.

Take the simple act of threatening someone (legally). In America, if you want to do this the best approach is probably to hire a lawyer to send a nasty letter. You could write such a letter yourself, of course, but nothing says "I am so upset I might actually sue you" like a missive on law firm letterhead.

In Japan you can send the same message without hiring a lawyer. Just go to a decent-sized post office and say you want to send a naiyō shōmei (or stay at home and do it over the Japan Post website). Meaning "contents certified," naiyō shōmei is a particular type of letter sent to its target by special delivery. A copy is retained at the post office for five years, meaning it confirms that on a specific date you sent so-and-so a notice containing objectively verifiable contents. A naiyō shōmei says you care — care enough to start creating evidence.