Japan Commercial Arbitration Association (JCAA)
The International Commercial Arbitration Committee, the former body of the JCAA, was established in 1950 within the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to serve as an organization to settle commercial disputes and promote international trade, thereby contributing to the development of the Japanese economy. In 1953, with the further growth of international trade, the arbitration committee was reorganized as the JCAA to become independent from the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in order to expand and streamline its business activities.
The JCAA has a panel of mediators to conduct mediation under the Commercial Mediation Rules. It consists of lawyers, patent lawyers, accountants, business consultants and business executives. As a matter of fact, a lawyer or an ex-judge frequently serves as a mediator.
Terms of Mediation
The JCAA’s mediation is institutional and the terms of mediation are included in its mediation rules. The JCAA administers mediation proceedings in accordance with the Commercial Mediation Rules and the International Commercial Mediation Rules. The former is accredited by the Minister of Justice under the Act on Promotion of Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution and is used primarily for the settlement of domestic disputes. The latter is used primarily for the settlement of international disputes.
Legal System of Japan
In the modernization of the Meiji Period (1868 to 1912), European law was imported into Japan based upon which most major Japanese legislation was implemented. After the Second World War and during the period of the Allied occupation, some of the Japanese laws were amended and replaced on the basis of US law. However, the strong influence of the Civil Law system still remains in the Japanese law.
Attitudes toward Mediation
Mediation is provided by a variety of organizations such as courts, administrative agencies, bar associations and industry organizations. The court-annexed mediation was the first and it still predominates in the present Japanese mediation. It provides two types of mediation for civil and family disputes under the Civil Conciliation Act and the Domestic Relations Trial Act, respectively. As one of the recent judicial reforms, in order to promote the use of mediation operated by private bodies, the accreditation system of mediation was introduced in 2007 under the Act on Promotion of Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution. The private mediation accredited by the Act is accorded privileges such as the effect of “interruption of prescription” and “suspension of litigation proceedings”. Presently 119 institutions have been accredited.
For more information, see the website of the JCAA at http://www.jcaa.or.jp/e/index.html.
i Hiroshi Oda, Japanese Law (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), p13.