このページの先頭ですサイトメニューここから
このページの本文へ移動
サイト内検索
本文ここから

About Houterasu

更新日:2023年5月12日

Please read them before using the service.

  • The FAQ is a general introduction to the legal system in Japan and does not provide answers to specific individual questions.In addition, depending on your individual circumstances, the Japanese legal system may not be applicable.
  • If you would like to know if there are any FAQs that are not listed here, or if you would like to discuss your specific needs, please contact the Multilingual Information Service (0570-078377). It will provide you with information on FAQs and consultation services based on the nature of your inquiry.
  • Please note that Houterasu cannot be held responsible for any damages that may result from attempting to resolve specific individual problems based on the FAQ.

Contents

For those who wish to participate in a criminal trial in Japan

Q01: Can foreign nationals also use Houterasu?

  • Foreign nationals can use Houterasu in the same way as Japanese nationals.
  • However, civil legal aid is not available to foreign nationals who do not have a residence in Japan or who are not residing in Japan legally.

(Explanation)
・Houterasu offers a Multilingual Information Service that provides information on the Japanese legal system and consultation services through interpreters (available languages: English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Nepali, Thai, and Indonesian).
・The Comprehensive Legal Support Act states that civil legal aid is available only to foreign nationals who are residing in Japan legally, so it cannot be used by those who do not have an address in Japan or who are not residing in Japan legally.

01633

Q02: What does an information service provide?

  • An information service provides information on the legal system and information on consultation bodies and organizations in response to inquiries from users.

(Explanation)
・The consultation bodies and organizations we will introduce here include bar associations, judicial scriveners’ associations, and local government consultation services.
・Information services differ from legal consultations, in which attorneys, judicial scriveners, etc. make legal judgments based on the nature of a dispute and give advice on what measures to take.

01632

Q03: What is the Houterasu Multilingual Information Service?

  • This is a service that can be used when the user is a native speaker of a foreign language and wishes to receive information on the Japanese legal system and consultation services.
  • This is done via a three-way call between the user, the interpreter, and a Houterasu staff member.
  • In the three-way call, the user calls the interpreter (0570-078377), the interpreter connects the user to the Japan Legal Support Center District Office or Branch of the user’s choice (by transferring the call), and the user and Houterasu staff talk to each other through the interpreter.

(Explanation)
・The available languages are English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Nepali, Thai, and Indonesian.
・Those who can communicate in Japanese without difficulty are not eligible for this service.
・Calling charges for the three-way call are paid by the user.
・The interpretation service provider offers interpretation only.
・This service does not cover legal consultations for civil legal aid, except for inquiries regarding the reimbursement (repayment) of advances for representation aid or documentation aid.

03839

Q04: What do civil legal aid services involve?

  • This service provides free legal consultations for those who are facing legal problems but are unable to solve them due to financial reasons and for victims of large-scale disasters, and also provides advance payment of attorney’s or judicial scrivener’s fees for those who cannot afford them.

(Explanation)
・This assistance includes legal consultation aid, representation aid (advance payment of expenses when requesting an attorney, etc. to represent a person in court proceedings, etc.), and documentation aid (advance payment of expenses when requesting a judicial scrivener, etc. to prepare documents to be submitted to a court) for those who are financially unable to afford such assistance, victims of major disasters, or those who may be prevented from asserting their own rights due to insufficient cognitive function (people with insufficient cognitive functioning).
・In order to receive representation aid or documentation aid, you must meet certain requirements, such as having an income below a certain level.
・As of July 1, 2016, eligibility for free legal consultation has been expanded to include victims of major disasters. This system is called legal consultation aid for victims of an extraordinary
disaster.
・As of January 24, 2018, eligibility for civil legal aid services has been expanded to include people with insufficient cognitive functioning who have income and assets exceeding the standards for existing civil legal aid services with respect to legal consultation aid (in this case, a legal consultation fee will be charged). Also, eligibility for representation aid and documentation aid has been expanded to include administrative appeal procedures relating to public benefits that are necessary for people with insufficient cognitive functioning to lead independent lives.

01649

Q05: Can foreign nationals also receive civil legal aid?

  • Foreign nationals who have a residence in Japan and are residing in Japan legally can use this service if they meet the requirements for aid.

(Explanation)
・Foreign nationals without status of residence cannot receive aid. However, in exceptional cases where it is the status of residence that is in question and it is seen as certain that the court will recognize the status of residence in light of court precedents if a lawsuit is filed to challenge the administrative disposition made by the authorities regarding status of residence, there is an understanding that aid can be provided even without the status of residence.
・When we receive an application for assistance from a foreign national, we ask them to present their residence card or a certified copy of their resident register to confirm their status of residence.

01662

Q06: Can I use civil legal aid in relation to problems at a company I run?

  • Civil legal aid is not available for cases related to corporations, such as joint stock companies and limited liability companies.

(Explanation)
・If you have a business that you run as a sole proprietor, such as a restaurant or a beauty salon, you are treated as an individual and can use civil legal aid.
・Even if the case is related to a corporation, civil legal aid can be used if the details of the consultation concern the individual proprietor.
・In addition, if the corporation is simply a sole proprietorship taking on the appearance of a corporation, and the individual’s livelihood and the corporation’s operations are largely the same (i.e., there are no employees other than family members who live with the proprietor), civil legal aid can be used to support the representative as an individual.
・In order to use civil legal aid, there are certain conditions to be met regarding income, etc. For more details, please contact Houterasu Support Dial (0570-078374) or your local Japan Legal Support Center District Office.
・For inquiries in foreign languages, please contact the Multilingual Information Service (0570-078377), which will connect you to the nearest Japan Legal Support Center District Office through an interpreter.

02703

Q07: Please tell me about the repayment of representation aid and documentation aid.

  • Users of representation aid and documentation aid are required to repay the fees paid by Houterasu to the attorney on their behalf in installments.

(Explanation)
・From the month following the month in which the decision to start support is made, 5,000 to 10,000 yen will be repaid monthly via automatic withdrawal from a financial institution.
・The fee for automatic withdrawal is 33 yen for Japan Post Bank and 40 yen for financial institutions other than Japan Post Bank.
・Please make sure to deposit the monthly repayment amount plus the fee for the automatic withdrawal procedure by the day before the withdrawal date.
・If you are unsure of the financial institution account you have registered with Houterasu or the monthly repayment amount, please contact the Houterasu (Japan Legal Support Center) District Office that you use.
・No interest is charged on the money advanced by Houterasu.
・For those who have difficulty repaying the debt, such as those receiving livelihood protection benefits, repayment may be deferred until the end of the case.
・If you do not obtain any financial benefit as a result of the case, and you are receiving livelihood protection benefits, etc., you can apply to have your repayment waived.

01654

Q08: If I fail to pay back the advance paid by Houterasu, will it affect my ability to use the civil legal aid scheme in the future?

  • Failure to repay will affect your subsequent use of the civil legal aid scheme.

(Explanation)
If you fail to repay Houterasu without a valid reason, then as a rule, Houterasu will not be able to provide new assistance (legal consultation aid, representation aid, and documentation aid), including for related cases, as it will not be consistent with the purpose of civil legal aid.
However, some assistance may be provided in special circumstances.
To find out if you can actually use the system, please contact the Japan Legal Support Center District Office you are using directly.

04585

Q09: I am receiving livelihood protection benefits. If I use Houterasu, will I have to pay anything at all, from consultation with an attorney to trial?

  • In principle, all legal fees paid as an advance by Houterasu must be repaid to Houterasu by the user.
  • If you receive any financial benefit from the other party as a result of the trial, etc., it will be used for repayment.
  • However, if you are a recipient of livelihood protection benefits, you can apply to a Japan Legal Support Center District Office for a deferment of repayment, and if it is deemed appropriate to do so, we will defer repayment of the advance while the case is in progress. Decisions on whether to waive repayment will be made on an individual basis, based on the actual circumstances of each case, after the conclusion of the assistance and after receiving an application.
  • Therefore, we cannot immediately give you a definite answer as to whether you will need to pay any money at all or how much you will need to pay.

(Explanation)
・If you use the Houterasu’s civil legal aid scheme to hire an attorney or judicial scrivener, Houterasu will pay the attorney’s or judicial scrivener’s fees and incidental costs of the court proceedings.
・In principle, the full amount of the advance paid by Houterasu is repaid by the user to Houterasu.
・However, if you are a recipient of livelihood protection benefits, you can apply to a Japan Legal Support Center District Office for a deferment of repayment, and if it is deemed appropriate to do so, we will defer repayment of the advance while the case is in progress. For those who do not obtain any financial benefit as a result of the case and are not expected to recover their financial resources, repayment may be waived.
・Please note that some incidental expenses for court proceedings may not be eligible for the payment of an advance. In addition, you will bear the cost of any amount exceeding the maximum amount of the advance.
・Please contact your local Japan Legal Support Center District Office for further details.

03542

Q10: What do services related to crime victim support involve?

  • In response to inquiries from victims of crime and their families, we provide information on how criminal procedures are carried out, legal systems for recovery and alleviation of harm and distress suffered, information on crime victim support groups, and referrals to attorneys with experience and understanding of crime victim support.
    In addition, Houterasu listens to the views of “participating victims” who participate in criminal trials, nominates candidates for court-appointed attorneys for participating victims, and gives notice of such to courts.

01670

Q11: What does legal consultation aid for the victims of specific acts of trespass against the person involve?

  • This service is to provide prompt legal consultations to those who have been, or are at risk of being, victims of spousal violence, stalking, or child abuse.

(Explanation)

・These legal consultations are provided by attorneys and are available for both criminal and civil matters, so long as the consultation is necessary for preventing harm.

・This service is provided only to the individual concerned, and it is not possible for a representative to receive a consultation on their behalf. In addition, those who have been subjected to dating abuse, harassment unrelated to with romantic feelings, etc., and those who have been subjected to abusive behavior but are over the age of 18 are not covered.

・The legal consultation fee is 5,500 yen (including tax) for those with assets of more than 3 million yen, and free of charge for those with assets of less than 3 million yen. “Assets” here refers to the total amount of cash and savings that the person receiving the consultation can freely use at the time of the legal consultation. Expenses that are expected to be paid within one year, such as medical expenses resulting from the harm suffered, can be excluded from assets.

・When we receive an application for legal consultation, we will promptly assign an attorney to take charge of the legal consultation at the relevant district office and provide their contact information.

・Once the attorney for the consultation has been decided, the applicant and the attorney in charge of the consultation will arrange a time and place for the consultation. Interpretation services may also be available, so please inquire when applying.

04683

Q12: What kind of assistance can attorneys provide with respect to being a victim of crime?

  • First, we provide legal consultation regarding the harm suffered, and then, if necessary, we provide assistance with civil damages and bringing charges, negotiate with police officers and public prosecutors, obtain criminal records, make requests to the court such as reserving a seat at the hearing or bringing in a portrait of the deceased, accompany and represent the victim at the criminal trial (statement of opinions, witness examination, etc.), and respond to the media.

・Houterasu can refer you to an attorney with experience and understanding of supporting victims of crime, and can help you obtain legal advice.

01598

Q13: In what cases can I be referred to an attorney who has experience and understanding of supporting victims of crime?

  • When, based on the nature of your inquiry, a consultation with an attorney is deemed necessary, we will refer you to an attorney upon request.

(Explanation)

At Houterasu (Japan Legal Support Center) District Offices and our call center (Houterasu Support Dial), we respond to requests for referrals to attorneys with experience and understanding of supporting victims of crime.

01681

Q14: I was a victim of a crime and I want to hire an attorney, but I don’t have any money. What should I do?

  • Houterasu can provide free referrals to attorneys with experience and understanding of supporting victims of crime. Subsequent legal consultation fees, etc. may be free of charge depending on requirements regarding your financial resources. In addition, you may be able to use the civil legal aid scheme, which will advance you money to cover the cost of hiring an attorney. First of all, you should consult with your attorney and inform them of what services you wish them to provide, and if there are any services you can use if you do not have money.

02025

Q15: What is the victim participation system?

  • This system allows the victims of crimes to participate in certain criminal trials in the following ways.
  1. Attendance at the trial
  2. Participating victims can express their views to the public prosecutor regarding the prosecutor’s work in court and listen to their explanations
  3. Within certain limits, participating victims may personally examine witnesses or ask questions of the defendant
  4. After the public prosecutor’s closing argument and request for sentence, participating victims can express opinions on the application of facts and laws within the scope of the criminal facts that were the subject of the trial

02791

Q16: What sort of crimes are subject to the victim participation system?

  • If you have been a victim of one of the following crimes, you may apply for the victim participation system (after applying, the court will decide whether or not you are eligible to participate).
  1. Crimes in which a person is killed or injured as a result of an intentional criminal act (murder, manslaughter, dangerous driving causing death or injury, etc.)
  2. Sex crimes such as indecency through compulsion (Article 176 of the Penal Code) and forced sexual intercourse (Article 177)
  3. Causing death or injury due to negligence in the pursuit of social activities (Article 211 of the Penal Code)
  4. Unlawful capture and confinement (Article 220 of the Penal Code)
  5. Crimes related to kidnapping, abduction, and human trafficking (Articles 224–227 of the Penal Code)
  6. Crimes that include (2) through (5) above in their offenses
  7. Attempts to commit (1) through (6) above
  8. Negligent driving causing death or injury and negligent driving causing death or injury under the influence of alcohol, etc., as defined by the Act on Punishment of Acts Inflicting Death or Injury on Others by Driving a Motor Vehicle, etc.

02792

Q17: Who can use the victim participation system?

  • The following people may apply for the victim participation system (after applying, the court will decide whether or not you are eligible to participate. Participation from overseas may be permitted in some cases).
  1. The victim themselves
  2. A legal representative of the victim (e.g., parents of a minor)
  3. In cases where the victim has died or has serious physical or mental disabilities, the victim’s spouse, immediate relatives (grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, etc.), brothers and sisters of the victim
  4. An attorney engaged by any of the above

02793

Q18: How can I apply for the victim participation system?

  • Inform the public prosecutor in charge of the case that you wish to participate in the trial. You may request to participate at any time after the prosecution of the case and before an appeal or the judgment is finalized. The application is made to the court through the public prosecutor, and if the court approves the application, a Certificate of Participation is issued to the applicant.

02795

Q19: What should I do if I want to ask an attorney to act as a participating victim, but I am unable to pay the costs myself due to financial circumstances, etc.?

  • Crime victims who are allowed to participate in criminal trials and do not meet a certain level of financial resources can request the court, through Houterasu, to select a court-appointed attorney for participating victims, with attorney fees to be covered by the court. A certain level of financial resources means that the total amount of the applicant’s assets, such as cash and savings is less than 2 million yen (expenses for medical treatment and other expenses incurred due to the criminal act in question can be deducted). In addition, you can give your opinion regarding an attorney when requesting the selection of a court-appointed attorney for participating victims. Opinions can be submitted when the victim has the support of a particular attorney and wishes to employ that attorney, or when there is no particular attorney that the victim wishes to employ, but the victim has a preference regarding the attorney’s gender, etc.

03019

Q20: Please tell me how to make a specific request regarding the selection of a court-appointed attorney for participating victims.

Please prepare all of the following documents and submit them to the Houterasu office corresponding to the court where you will be participating (for example, if you will be participating in a trial at the Tokyo District Court, submit them to the Japan Legal Support Center Tokyo District Office).

(1) ダウンロードのリンク 新規ウインドウで開きます。Selection Request Form and Declaration of Financial Resources(PDF:307KB)

* Please refer to the completed example here. (ダウンロードのリンク 新規ウインドウで開きます。Completed example(PDF:352KB))

(2) ダウンロードのリンク 新規ウインドウで開きます。Opinion on the selection of a court-appointed attorney for victims(PDF:90KB)

(3) Copy of Certificate of Participation

(4) A copy of the applicant’s ID (must include the applicant’s address, name, and date of birth)

(1) and (2) must be completed in Japanese.

Q21: If I attend the trial as a participating victim, can I have my transportation expenses paid?

  • When a participating victim attends a trial, the court will provide the travel expenses, a daily allowance, and accommodation expenses for attendance.

Please fill out the specified information on the “Claim for Participating Victim Travel Expenses Form” and submit it to the court along with the supporting documents on a trial day. You can claim for each trial day or for several days at once, but the deadline for claiming is within 30 days of the judgment date, so please be careful not to miss any. In addition, there are cases where transportation expenses, etc. may not be paid as claimed, so please ask the court if you have any questions. The claim form must be completed in Japanese (the claim form can be obtained from the public prosecutor’s office or the court).

In addition to the claim form, the following items are required.

(1) A copy of a document showing the place of residence (the address departed from) indicated on the claim form

(2) A personal seal

(3) Copy of bankbook, cash card, etc. indicating the account that the money is to be paid into

(4) If traveling by air, a receipt (or a copy of the internet purchase screen, etc.) and the stub (boarding pass) of the outbound ticket (the return ticket stub should be submitted after the return trip).
日本語はこちら

03860,03865

Q22: If I attend a trial in a Japanese court from overseas, will my travel expenses, etc. be paid?

  • If you have been granted permission to participate in the trial, you will be provided with travel expenses, etc. to attend the trial in Japan from abroad (see Q21 for how to claim).

In addition to the documents listed in Q21, the following documents must be included.

  1. Travel diary
    ダウンロードのリンク 新規ウインドウで開きます。Travel diary(PDF:22KB)
    Instead of a travel diary, an itinerary prepared by a travel agency will suffice if it is amended to include all of the following information that was not originally mentioned on said itinerary.
    (1) Daily itinerary (2) Country of stay (3) Route name and departure/arrival time of trains taken (*)
    (4) Route name and departure/arrival time of ships boarded (*)
    (5) Route name and departure/arrival time of aircraft boarded
    * Information on travel within Japan does not need to be included (see completed example). Please write in Japanese.
  2. Accompanying documents required for payment of travel expenses (airfare, etc.) The documents required differ depending on the type of travel expenses (airfare, etc.) being claimed. Please prepare documents as detailed for each category below.


    <<Airfares>>
    ・Documents proving payment of the fare (e.g., a receipt showing the name of the payer, the flight number, and the name of the passenger, or a copy of the internet purchase screen)
    ・Documents proving boarding of the aircraft (e.g., airline ticket stub, boarding certificate, security check pass)
    * Payments will not be made for upgrades such as first class. The fare for a regular or economy class seat will be paid, regardless of the type of seat actually occupied.




    <<Travel expenses for travel within a foreign country (rail/ship fares)>>
    Travel expenses for travel within a foreign country may also be paid if you submit documents proving use (limited to the extent deemed necessary to attend the trial, etc.).
    ・Documents proving the class of fare (e.g., boarding certificate, etc.)
    ・Documents proving the amount of the fare (e.g., receipt, copy of the internet purchase screen, etc.)




    <<Travel expenses within Japan>>
    There is no need to attach documents for travel expenses incurred for transportation between the airport and the court.

  3. Translated documents
    Please complete the Claim for Victim Participation Travel Expenses, etc. Form and the accompanying documents in Japanese. When submitting a Claim for Participating Victim Travel Expenses Form and accompanying documents written in a foreign language, please attach a Japanese translation.
    If a translation is not attached, expenses for travel, etc. might not be paid for sections for which the necessity was not clearly identified.
    The name and the foreign address on the claim form may be written in English.
  4. Overseas account information
    If you wish the money for travel expenses, etc. to be paid into a foreign account, please submit your overseas account information. This can be completed in English.
  5. If you wish the money for travel expenses, etc. to be paid into a foreign account, please submit your overseas account information. This can be completed in English.
    ダウンロードのリンク 新規ウインドウで開きます。Overseas account information(PDF:35KB)

日本語はこちら

PDF形式のファイルを開くには、Adobe Acrobat Reader DC(旧Adobe Reader)が必要です。
お持ちでない方は、Adobe社から無償でダウンロードできます。
Get Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (新規ウインドウで開きます。)Adobe Acrobat Reader DCのダウンロードへ

サブナビゲーションここから

Legal Information for Foreign Nationals(外国人のみなさまへ)

このページを見ている人は
こんなページも見ています


以下フッタです
ページの先頭へ