The Services Provided by Judicial Scriveners in Japan

Poste date: Tuesday, July 2, 2019

A judicial scrivener is a legal professional who assists clients with real estate registration procedures, and provides other various services for representing clients during real estate transactions. Keeping a close contact with our everyday life, a judicial scrivener’s role is to protect the property and the rights of people, and to legally solve their everyday problems as well.

Foreigners planning to purchase real estate property in Japan may also come to be associated with a judicial scrivener, when involved in matters such as real estate registration, the transferring of real estate ownership, and inheritance in regards to real estate.

Here is an introduction to the role played by judicial scriveners in Japan and the offices of some of the English-speaking judicial scriveners we recommend.

What is a Judicial Scrivener?

Judicial scrivener is the national qualification under the Judicial Scrivener Act, and is acquired by passing a national examination administered by the Ministry of Justice or by having been qualified by the Minister of Justice.

Upon request by a company or an individual, a judicial scrivener will represent their clients in the preparation of documents for a court, the public prosecutor's office, the regional legal affairs bureau, etc. and also in procedures regarding various real estate registrations and deposits.
Specifically, they do the following jobs.

Details of a judicial scrivener’s jobs

To represent clients in procedures regarding real estate registrations and deposits

Application procedures for the Registration of Ownership Transfer when buying and selling, donation, and inheritance of real estate, or for Establishment of Mortgage.

To represent clients in procedures regarding commercial registrations and deposits

The application procedures for the Registration of establishing a new company or a new corporate entity or for Registration of alteration regarding the head office, the business purpose, the officers, etc. of the registered company and corporate entity.

To represent clients in the preparation of documents for a court, the public prosecutor's office, the regional legal affairs bureau

The preparation of documents required for a civil trial or conciliation of civil affairs, or concerning a waiver of inheritance, a divorce, and adult guardianship.

To represent clients in summary courts, litigation, arbitration, and reconciliation proceedings

Concerning civil cases (claim amount up to 1,400,000 yen) of the summary court jurisdiction, civil procedure, out‐of‐court settlement with the other party, and procedures for a lawsuit.

To support clients in managing their properties under the adult guardianship system

Based on "the adult guardianship system" to protect the property of the person whose self-judgment ability is low due to dementia or disability, assistance for managing the property of an adult ward as a guardian of adult or a conservator, for consultation from a relative, or for procedures of the various matters.

To represent clients in procedure for inheritance of real estate and handling of a decedent's will

Application procedures for Registration of Ownership Transfer by inheritance of real estate, assistance for confirming and investigating the heirs or making Agreement on Division of Inheritance after the contents and share of the inheritance are agreed with each other among all the heirs.

To assist clients in the consolidation of debts or debt relief of multiple loans

Assistance for negotiation with a consumer loan company for voluntary liquidation or claim for reimbursement of overpayment (requires the authorization of the Minister of Justice). Application procedures for personal bankruptcy or civil rehabilitation of personal debts.

The judicial scrivener’s jobs (duties) in real estate transactions

The registration of real estate property (land and building) shall be recorded on the public record called Registration Record to publicly notify the right of ownership by describing the location, the area, and the owner's name, etc., and such a registration procedure is called real property registration. When there is a change in the registered description on the record due to buying and selling, donation, and inheritance of real estate, it is necessary to apply for registration of alteration in the Regional Legal Affairs Bureau. Because such registration procedures are complicated, a judicial scrivener is an expert the represents a client in the said registration procedures to avoid legal problems.

Major real property registration

When an owner has changed due to buying and selling, donation, and inheritance of real estate Registration of Transfer of Ownership
When newly constructing a building Registration of Preservation of Ownership
When taking out a home loan Registration of Establishment of Mortgage
When paying off a home loan Registration of Termination of Mortgage
When the address or the name of an owner has changed due to marriage or moving Registration of Alteration of Owner’s address or name

In real estate transactions, a judicial scrivener is present to confirm the payment of money for the purchase of property between the buyer and seller of a real estate property; checks the transaction procedures and the necessary documents so that each transaction can be completed safely; and represents clients in applying for the necessary registration at the Regional Legal Affairs Bureau.

Specifically, a judicial scrivener represents clients in applying for “Registration of Transfer of Ownership” when ownership is transferred from a seller to a buyer due to the buying and selling of real property; for “Registration of Establishment of Mortgage” when a buyer takes out a home loan; and for “Registration of Termination of Mortgage” when a seller pays off a home loan with the money from the sales.

What’s the difference between an Attorney and an Administrative scrivener?

Judicial Scrivener is compared with Attorney and Administrative scrivener as a legal expert.

The Job of an Administrative scrivener

An administrative scrivener’s jobs resemble those of a judicial scrivener in terms of making various documents. Administrative scriveners make documents or represent clients by making documents to be submitted to public offices such as government ministries and agencies offices, prefectural government offices, municipal government offices, police stations, and healthcare centers. Many of the documents are for authorizing permits and licenses such as an application for a Construction business license, a Restaurant business license, and others. Administrative scriveners provide services for foreign residents such as applications for Certificate of Eligibility, Extension of Period of Stay, and Permission for Permanent Residence. Their jobs also include making documents or consultations relating to rights, duties or the certification of facts.

The job of an Attorney

Attorney represents clients in various lawsuits or complaint cases against an administrative agency, or generally handles other general legal matters. Attorneys provide clients with legal consultation and represent clients in reconciliation or out-of-court settlement negotiations, lawsuits of civil or criminal case, or with complaint cases against an administrative agency.

Although an attorney generally handles various legal matters, it is better for you to request the services of a specialist depending on the contents of the matter at hand. As an example, hire a Judicial Scrivener to handle various registration matters or an Administrative scrivener for various procedures relating to the public offices.

Judicial Scrivener’s offices that provide English-speaking services

For foreigners who do not speak Japanese or understand Japan’s culture and customs, understanding legal procedures or consulting with a legal specialist about their troubles in Japan is not easy. To help overcome those hurdles we would like to introduce our recommended Judicial Scrivener’s offices–that provide English-speaking services–so that you can consult with them regarding the procedures of real estate registrations, the inheritance of real estate by a foreigner, or the establishment of a company in Japan by a foreign company.

MiCasa Legal

MiCasa Legal is an experienced professional firm, assisting foreign people and overseas enterprises investing into the Japanese market. MCL is specialized in real estate transactions, company incorporation and corporate legal matters for foreign clients, and provide full support to facilitate your real estate acquisition and business startup in Japan.


We are the office managed by a representative judicial scrivener who has an experience to stay in the U.S.A. We interview a client in English, so you don’t need to come with an interpreter.  By using the communication tools such as WhatsApp、Messenger、and LINE, we can support you for various cases quickly and flexibly. We are providing services to support in the procedures related to real property registration, corporate law, international inheritance, and making a will for a foreign ancestor.

Karitani Shiho-Shoshi Lawyer Office

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