Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA)

1-3, Kasumigaseki 1 - chome
Chiyeda-ku
Tokyo 100 Japan
Telephone: +81-(0)3-3580-9841
Fax: +81-(0)3-3580-2866
Web: http://www.nichibenren.or.jp/

Overview

Number of Members: 16,806
Annual Cost: ¥12,000
Membership is: Compulsory

Bar Profile:
As a source of protection of fundamental human rights and of realization of social justice, to maintain the roll of attorneys and in view of the purpose and duties of attorneys, to govern matters relating to the guidance, liaison and supervision of all attorneys and bar associations in order to maintain their dignity and improve and advance the work of attorneys.

ACTIVITIES

Annual Conferences

  • General Meeting - held every May to deliberate the resolution of budgets and the approval of financial statements, revision of the Articles of Association and approval of basic annual policies. It also bestows official recognition on those members who have practised law for more than fifty years.
  • Conventions on Protection of Human Rights - held every October to promote research and study on human rights and to discuss a diverse range of subjects.
  • Judicial Symposium - held biennially to further develop democratic values within the judicial systems and to conduct research on various problems related to the judicial system.
  • Legal Practice Symposium - held biennially to study and research the expansion and development of new legal practice areas.

Journal or Newsletter
Jiyu to Seigi (Liberty & Justice) and Nichibenren Shimbun (The Federation's Newsletter); both are published monthly.

PRACTICE REQUIREMENTS

Admission
Pass national bar examination and complete a two-year legal apprenticeship.

Code of Ethics
Code of Ethics for practicing attorneys adopted March 2, 1990.

Disciplinary Functions
An attorney in Japan submits to disciplinary authority of the bar association he or she belongs to and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.

Practice by Foreign Lawyers
Permitted.

Restrictions
The Special Measures Law concerning the handling of legal business by foreign lawyers was amended on 13 August 1998. (1) The applicant must be qualified as a lawyer in a foreign country. A "lawyer" in this context is a person who practises law in the foreign country whose functions in the foreign country are similar to those of a bengoshi in Japan. In addition, the applicant must have three or more years experience practising as a lawyer in that country. However, up to one year of experience in Japan under employment by a bengoshi or registered Gaikokuho-Jimu-Bengoshi may be credited towards the three year minimum experience requirement. (2) The applicant must not be subjected to disqualification as a lawyer under the laws in the foreign country or in Japan. (3) The applicant must have the will to perform his or her functions faithfully as a Gaikokuho-Jimu-Bengoshi in Japan, and must have a plan of operations, have established residency in Japan and have sufficient financial means for engaging in legal practice in Japan. The applicant must also have the ability to compensate his or her clients for damages which may be caused by the applicant's malpractice. (4) The foreign country in which the applicant is qualified as a lawyer must offer substantially equivalent reciprocal treatment for Japanese bengoshi to qualify as foreign legal consultants in the foreing country. Exemptions from the requirement of reciprocity may be granted if adhering to the requirement would violate the provisions or the spirit of international treaties and internaiton agreements to which Japan is party (such as the treaty establishing the World Trade Organization).

Current Officers & Leadership

President (2 Year Term)
Kazumasa Kuboi

Vice-Presidents (1 Year Term)
Kenji Yamauchi
Kensuke Niwa
Hideaki Kubori
Isao Takahashi
Takeo Mizuno
Seigo Fujiwara
Yasunori Okumura
Osamu Kurata
Kusuo Haruyama
Hirokazu Suzuki
Mamoru Matsuura
Toshiharu Shimomoto

Secretary General (2 Year Term)
Masato Miwa

Deputy Secretaries General (2 Year Term)
Gotaro Ichiki
Yoshinori Fujimura
Makoto Ariyoshi
Shigeaki Ito
Susumu Fukushima