Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Research on Mediation Specialization in Japan

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Research on Mediation Specialization in Japan

Article excerpt


Mediation is an important means for resolving disputes. In modern time, with the development of Japanese society, mediation system changes from traditional type into modern one. Research on Japanese mediation specialization mainly reflected in strong support from legislation and proper arrangement. The professional operation of Japanese mediation cannot only guarantee mediation legal effect, but also can gain respect and trust.

Key words: Japan; Mediation; Specialization

Japanese mediation system has a long history. After the World War II, in order to resolve disputes during the war rapidly, the Meiji government of Japan fastened the construction of legislation by widely importing European legal systems and gradually carried out various laws, for example, "Mediation Act on Land Leasing and House Renting", "Tenant Disputes Mediation Act", "Commercial Mediation Act", "Contemporary Mediation Act for Money Debts", "Mediation Law for Personnel", "Mediation Act on Mine Accident", and etc.. Japan carried out the "Family Affairs Mediation Act" in 1947, and in 1951 the Japanese congress passed the unified "Civil Mediation Act" which has made Japanese mediation system more complete.

According to jurisdiction and different kinds of cases, Japanese mediation can be divided into family mediation and civil mediation. Family mediation is governed by family tribunal dealing with marriage and family life related cases. Civil mediation system started from the Tokugawa era which is governed by local tribunal and resolves commercial and civil cases except the ones that dealt by family tribunal.

On the grounds of authorized statistics, Japan has more than 30, 000 mediation officers working in various regions' mediation tribunals but 2850 judges until 2011 (See Table 1). The number of mediation officers is ten times of the judges' who effectively share responsibility for them and makes Japan have fewer judges to support its giant national judiciary machine. Therefore, it can be seen that Japanese mediation professional level is very high and at the same time specialization mediation guarantees the effect of disputes resolving.

Japanese mediation specialization is mainly reflected in the following aspects:


Apart from public hazard mediation, housing building mediation, agricultural affairs mediation, commercial affairs mediation, mine accidents mediation, traffic mediation, and other special rules stipulated by "Civil Mediation Act", Japan is used to set up special law to provide professional mediation, for instance, "Tenant Disputes Mediation Act", "Commercial Mediation Act", "Contemporary Mediation Act for Money Debts", "Mediation Law for Personnel", "Family Affairs Mediation Act", "Labor Disputes Mediation Act", and so on are all independent procedure laws attached to mediation tribunal of the meditation system.


2.1 Mediation Committee

The "Civil Mediation Act" of Japan provides that the organizer of mediation must be the mediation committee which is usually made up be one judge (working as the mediation committee chairman) and more than 2 committee members chosen from the public. The constitution of mediation committee is different depends on different types of cases. The committee members are mainly from the public. From the identities of those members, we can conclude that they are chosen from the three following types: qualified lawyers who have special knowledge or experiences on resolving civil and family disputes such as lawyers and university teachers and so on; experts in certain field who are capable in using their own professional knowledge and social experiences to provide disputes solutions by indentifying facts and cases, for example, company managers, real estate quantity surveyors, architect, and doctors, etc.; 40-70 years old people who have rich social experience, a great deal of knowledge, and good personal characters, for example, retired officers of public security organs. …

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