1.When this issue should be considered?
This issue may be considered when the case concerned was filed or was settled or judged in another country, because either party has taken an action to get a divorce in another country.
In Japanese law, Article 188 of Civil Procedure Act provides for the effectiveness of recognition of foreign judgment. Also, Article 24 of Civil Execution Act provides enforcement of foreign judgment. Any special procedure for the recognition of the foreign judgment is not needed unlike other countries’ law. Consequently, the judgment shall be recognized automatically according to Japanese law. Still, to execute the order of the delivery of any property, the judgment of execution shall be needed.
These Articles not only apply to contentious cases but also non-contentions cases that have opposed entities, such as child-maintenance costs, child custody and division of property.
2.Article 118 of Japanese Civil Procedure Act
(a) Article 118 of Japanese Civil Procedure states as follows.
A final and binding judgment rendered by a foreign court shall be effective only where it meets all of the following requirements;
The jurisdiction of the foreign court is recognized under laws or regulations or conventions or treaties.
[Explain; this means the foreign court must have the international jurisdiction under Japanese laws.]
The defeated defendant has received a service, excluding a service by publication or any other service similar thereto, of a summons or order necessary for the commencement of the suit, or has appeared without receiving such service.
[Explain; the cases, for example, where the defendant in Japan has received a petition or a summon directly, not going through the proper procedures on Mutual Legal Assistance legislation, from the U.S are often disputed. For those cases, Government in Japan states that those procedures are not effective for taking legal action. Also, lower court in Japan determined that there need a translation for the documents and need to take procedures on Mutual Legal Assistance to make the petition or summon effectual.
The content of the judgment and the court proceedings are not contrary to public policy in Japan.
[Explain; for example, the decision of the court in Minnesota, the US, was not recognized because payment of the expense for children by deducting from an obligor’s salary is contrary to public policy in Japan.]
A mutual guarantee exists.
[Explain; mutual guarantee means that if the same kind of decision were made by Japanese court, the decision was recognized by the foreign court under the similar condition of Article 118 of Japanese Civil Procedure Act.]