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Depositions may now be taken remotely in Japan! Scheduling depositions in Japan is a very detailed and streamlined process. More than any other country, Japan requires strict adherence to specific scheduling protocol. Since the beginning of Covid-19 depositions in Japan have come to a complete halt. The requirement that depositions take place at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo or U.S. Consulate in Osaka, neither of which have permitted remote depositions has effectively banned depositions since the world went remote. After nearly two years of indefinite pause, however, taking depositions in Japan is once again becoming possible.

To those in the international deposition world, Japan is known for banning all depositions via videoconference or telephone. While other countries relaxed these rules in light of Covid-19, Japan held fast. Per the U.S. Embassy’s website, however, remote depositions of witnesses in Japan are now “available on an extremely limited basic and subject to prior approval of the Japanese authorities.” An excerpt from the approval process for remote depositions in Japan can be found below:

If you are a party, or counsel to a party, to litigation, flexible with your timing, are prepared to secure a court order for a deposition, and can provide the information below at a minimum to obtain Japanese government approval, then please contact  Please provide the following information when writing to  Incomplete requests will not be considered.

  • Name(s) of parties to the litigation
  • Briefly, what the litigation concerns
  • Type of case (civil, criminal)
  • Which court it’s in
  • Preferred dates for the video deposition
  • Date of trial
  • Name(s) of witness(es) to be deposed
  • Connection of witness(es) to the litigation
  • Parties present in the U.S. (names, positions, location in the U.S.)
  • Parties present in Japan (apart from the witness(es), provide names and positions)

U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Japan

Strict requirements remain even when a deposition is approved – in-person participants must be kept to a minimum (a witness, one attorney, and the videographer) while all other participants may appear remotely. Fortunately, Planet Depos is the only court reporting agency with staff on the ground in both Tokyo and Osaka. We also work with countless talented interpreters with deposition experience, and all topics of case matters, including and even especially highly intricate and confidential IP matters in Japan. Once your deposition is arranged with the Embassy or Consulate you can rest easy knowing that a world-class team will be with you in-person and remotely to handle your deposition.

Planet Depos is the indisputable leader of court reporting in Japan. Our reporter and videographer live right next door to the Embassy in Tokyo! This positioning has provided an “insider’s” view as it were, enabling the Japan version of last-minute scheduling. The process for scheduling depositions in Japan typically takes roughly six weeks, so there is no such thing as truly last-minute depositions. The on-the-ground reporting team in Tokyo has working relationships with local vendors and can assist with any ancillary services required for your depositions in Japan.

Planet Depos has been covering international depositions for over a decade, even through the recent pandemic. Planet Depos court reporters, videographers, and interpreters all around the globe are ready to cover your next proceeding taking place abroad. For more information or to schedule, contact, or schedule your international deposition online.


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