Tokyo: Japan will set up an office here
to provide legal assistance to foreign residents in the
country in 12 languages, including Bengali, the first such
attempt to offer services for those who have limited access to
lawyers because of linguistic barriers.
The Tokyo Public Law Office will open the office on
November 1 for foreigners who have limited access to lawyers
because of the language barriers, lack of information and
cultural differences, Kyodo news agency quoted the office as
The services will focus on individual needs of
Although there are many multinational law offices in
Japan, they mainly cater to corporations and business clients,
the office said, adding that lawyers in Japan also tend to
hesitate to take the cases of foreigners, as many cases
require detailed knowledge of the immigration law and laws
The public law office, which was established in 2002
with assistance from the Tokyo Bar Association, said the new
office is in response to rising needs for legal assistance
from more than 2 million foreign residents in Japan.
The new office will provide legal access to residents
in Tokyo and around and will work in close cooperation with
the Lawyers Network for Foreigners, a nationwide network of
lawyers handling foreign cases, the office said.
The new section will start offering a free legal
consultation by about 30 lawyers next Sunday via telephone in
Japanese, English, Korean, French, Spanish and Chinese.
On-site consultation, which requires registration,
will be provided on Sunday in Portuguese, Indonesian, Bengali,
Thai, Tagalog and Burmese.