International Family Law regarding Divorce, 1980 Hague Child Abduction Cases, and Inheritance

Legal Profession Corporation CastGlobal Kawaguchi Office

303 Second Masaki Building, 2-4-5 Namiki, Kawaguchi City         Saitama Prefecture, 332-0034, Greater Tokyo Area                   Half an hour train ride from Central Tokyo

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International Jurisdiction in Divorce Cases

“International jurisdiction” means that the courts of a given country will be the most appropriate to hear and determine a case that has an international dimension.


Japanese statute law previously did not contain any provision regarding international jurisdiction in international or transnational divorce cases. 

If the respondent to a divorce action lives in Japan (is domiciled in Japan), then Japan will have jurisdiction with respect to that case. 

But what if the defendant lives outside Japan? 

The Supreme Court has held that courts should determine the issue of jurisdiction by taking into account matters of reasonableness, equity (fairness) between the parties, and proper andtimely justice.


The amendment of the Personal Status Litigation Act

The Personal Status Litigation Act was amended particially. The international jurisdiction over personal status cases was specified in Article 3-2.

The amendment came into effect on April 1, 2019.

According to the Article 3-2, filing suits to Japanese courts are granted  when;
(i) a defendant’s domicile (if the defendant has no domicile, their domicile is unknown, the defendant’s residence) is in Japan(paragraph 1);
(ii) both the husband and the wife have Japanese nationality (paragraph 5);
(iii) the last mutual domicile of the husband and the wife was in Japan and the plaintiff’s domicile is in Japan (paragraph 6);
(iv) there are special circumstances, such as a situation when the plaintiff’s domicile is in Japan and the defendant has went missing, that it would be equitable to either party, or a fair and speedy trial can be guaranteed if the Japanese courts were to condu
ct a trial and reach a judicial decision in the action (paragraph 7), etc.

The English translation is a provisional one and is not an official translation.

Please click the button below to view more detailed
information on international divorce. 

Strategies for
International Divorce

The Need for Legal
Representation in
Divorce Conciliation
Proceedings and

Which Country’s Laws Will Be Applied?

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Strategies for
International  Divorce

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Hague Convention

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Attorney at law
Makiko Mizuuchi
Legal Profession Corporation CastGlobal        Kawaguchi Office

303 Second Masaki Building, 2-4-5 Namiki, Kawaguchi City               Saitama Prefecture, 332-0034, Greater Tokyo Area                        Half an hour train ride from Central Tokyo 

Tel  81+(0)48-271-5085

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