• Kyodo

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A Justice Ministry panel on Tuesday proposed easing regulations to allow foreign lawyers to participate in arbitration cases involving the Japanese subsidiaries of foreign companies.

The panel also suggested in a report that such disputes should be eligible for international arbitration in Japan as the decisions of Japanese subsidiaries are influenced by their foreign parent companies.

As of April last year, there were 411 foreign lawyers registered with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.

They are currently able to provide legal services related to other countries’ laws and can represent parties in international arbitration proceedings as counsel, with the approval of the justice minister.

The ministry aims to revise the law regarding foreign lawyers as soon as possible and is planning to include rules for foreign and Japanese lawyers to jointly establish law firms so people can receive legal consultations on a variety of issues.

The ministry also wants to revise the law to allow foreign lawyers in the country to be involved in international arbitration proceedings being conducted overseas.

Companies use international arbitration to settle commercial disputes as they can often reach a settlement more quickly than by seeking a resolution in court.

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