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What is a "Gyoseishoshi" Lawyer?


Information provided by the Oyama Gyoseishoshi Lawyer's Office

In Japan, there are three legal qualifications: Bengoshi, Shihoshoshi, and Gyoseishoshi. These three qualifications are similar in some ways, but there are some categories of services that only a Bengoshi can perform.   A Bengoshi can perform any type of legal services in Japan.  In particular he or she can handle lawsuits, which a Shihoshoshi and a Gyoseishoshi cannot do. A Shihoshoshi handles primarily "toki", registration of companies and real estate matters, and document creation for court procedures.  Finally, there is the Gyoseishoshi which is a legal qualification unique to Japan.  A Gyoseishoshi's capacity is more than a judicial scrivener but less than a full Bengoshi.  

A gyoseishoshi lawyer can do the following:
a) make documents for applying for permissions and licenses to the government;
b) make documents for claiming people's rights;
c) make documents for certifying facts; and
d) represent people in the above categories.

A gyoseishoshi lawyer can help people in Japan and abroad make documents to be submitted to a Japanese court and to communicate with personnel at a court. Likewise they can apply for Japanese legal documents needed overseas for submission to a court or for other legally approved reasons.  A gyoseishoshi lawyer can handle visas and immigration procedures, incorporation and business licenses, and wills or other issues regarding inheritance in Japan.  They can create documents for applying for chotei (mediation) and for shinpan (????), but cannot create such documents for a lawsuit.   He or she cannot deal with court procedures, lawsuit cases, or other types of confrontational legal representation.

In cases where you do not speak Japanese, or are unfamiliar with legal language in Japanese, it is possible to act as a translator in court or in legal proceedings. Unlike an ordinary translator, a gyoseishoshi lawyer has a capacity to "certify facts" and has knowledge of laws, so courts personnel welcome their help. Subject to restrictions on not being able to actually act on your behalf in a confrontational court procedure, it is possible to help in court procedures as a consultant. Lawsuits and representation in negotiation can only be done by a Bengoshi.

Since there does not seem to be a similar profession in most English-speaking countries, its difficult to translate gyoseishoshi lawyer well.  But knowing this profession is beneficial for those who are living in Japan or need help with any of the above activities from outside of Japan.  So perhaps it is best if foreign residents in Japan just learn "gyoseishoshi".


Since a bengoshi lawyer is the most general type, and can handle all legal procedures, their fees are generally the highest. If a gyoseishoshi lawyer can do the work you need, it is likely to be much cheaper than if done by a Bengoshi.  So you may want to contact a Gyoseishoshi first to see if your needs can be met.  If it turns out that you need services that only a Bengoshi can perform, you can probably get an introduction to one from the Gyoseishoshi.  Lawyers usually have a good network, not only among lawyers but among specialists in many fields.  As with any personal reference, trustworthy people usually introduce other trustworthy people as well.

The information on this website concerns a matter of public interest, and is provided for educational and informational purposes only in order to raise public awareness of issues concerning left-behind parents. Unless otherwise indicated, the writers and translators of this website are not lawyers nor professional translators, so be sure to confirm anything important with your own lawyer.

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