What is Conciliation?
Conciliation[CHOUTEI] is a special system in Japan to resolve disputes that are hard to be solved by themselves. Before legal action is taken, it is considered better to solve the problem amicably through discussion between parties trying to reach a mutual agreement (successful compromise) in the conciliation, rather than by going to trial which might take longer and cost a lot more as well. Civil Conciliation treats all legal issues and troubles except for criminal cases, while Family Conciliation deals disputes among family members or other relatives.
- Solving problems by talking
- Conciliation is different from a trial or lawsuit, and it’s basically talk between two parties to seek a solution for the problem.
- Proceedings not open to the public
- Unlike a lawsuit, conciliation sessions are not open to the public and are held in a small room. Everything discussed in the conciliation is kept confidential, and the privacy of all concerned is protected.
- Presided over by a fair and neutral third party
- A conciliation committee, which consists of one judge and two (or occasionally three) conciliators selected from citizens, will listen to both parties evenly and politely, never supporting one side against the other, and help two parties to seek a satisfactory solution through conciliation sessions.
- With the same effect as a judgment of a lawsuit
- When two parties arrive at a solution that is valid and both of them are satisfied, all the agreements and conditions will be written in a certified Decree which will have the same effect as the judgment of a lawsuit. In case of default for payment , necessary procedures for the compulsory execution can be taken on the basis of the certified Decree.
- Simple and easy application procedures with inexpensive fee
- Anyone can make an application for conciliation proceedings. However, application forms available at the receptionist are to be written in Japanese and in order to ensure completion of application without difficulty, it is advised to come with someone who understands Japanese or a Japanese friend.