Lawyer Monthly - March 2023

of ADR in Japan. Before the launch of the JIDRC, it was not easy for parties of arbitration in Japan to find an appropriate place to conduct hearings and other conferences. The JIDRC offers a state-of-the-art experience for the dispute resolution process, and it streamlines hearings both online and in person. When it comes to dispute resolution procedures in Japan, litigation has been chosen in most cases, but as mentioned earlier, Japanese parties often choose arbitration due to the enforceability of awards under the New York Convention. Although Japan has not often been chosen as a seat of arbitration, an increasing number of Japanese companies are recognising the advantages of resolving disputes in their place of business. To respond to this demand, the Japanese government has been supporting the promotion of arbitration in Japan since 2017. The establishment of the JIDRC was also supported by the government. Can you share a little about ‘civil conciliation’ as a method of dispute resolution? How does it compare to other processes such as mediation and arbitration? Civil conciliation (minji chotei) is a dispute resolution procedure that differs from mediation (a private dispute resolution procedure facilitated by a neutral third party without the involvement of the state). Civil conciliation under Japanese law is a court procedure, and thus requires the involvement of the state. However, civil conciliation shares some of the characteristics of mediation in the sense that it aims to resolve disputes privately and by agreement of the parties. Even though Japanese litigation an issue when Japanese companies wish to choose the forum for dispute resolution in an international contract with international business partners. Aside from this, the lack of a global mechanism to ensure enforceability of foreign judgments is also a reason why arbitration might be a preferable method of international dispute resolution. Therefore, I observe that more Japanese companies have begun taking ADR, and especially international arbitration, more seriously. Has the launching of the Japan International Dispute Resolution Centre (JIDRC) or any recent legislation affected this? The JIDRC was launched in 2018 as the first ever organisation designed for international arbitration or other types THOUGHT LEADER 71

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