Choosing a lawyer for any type of legal services in Okinawa.

Choosing a lawyer for any type of legal services in Okinawa.

If you are currently in Okinawa, planning on coming soon, or in another country and want to have a legal procedure completed on Okinawa, this is a guide to help you.

In most cases, you most likely don’t need help from a lawyer in Okinawa and that is because legal procedures are split among different types of offices that service each request.

Any lawyer in Okinawa who is a foreigner such a US National, even with a law degree, cannot practice law in Japan. That means they can only provide ‘advice’ which in most cases can be easily obtained online.

Reasons to consider before contacting any lawyer in Okinawa.

1. Being Held in Jail

The main use of a Japanese lawyer for a foreigner in Japan is if a crime (civil or criminal) was committed and they are being held in jail. In that case, a lawyer will be appointed to you to assist you (a public defender) by the Japanese Government although this lawyer will not speak English.

In this case, our office, Okinawa Translator, can assist you by providing an interpreter so that you can communicate with your Japanese Lawyer.

2. Real Estate / Land Division / Inheritance

If you have an inheritance case in Okinawa, this does not have to be referred to by a lawyer. In most cases, a lawyer will overcharge for this procedure and most of the technical procedures will be contracted out to a judicial scrivener (a judicial person specializing in real estate or other specific area, a lawyer is not required) or an administrative scrivener.

3. Getting a Divorce in Okinawa

In the case that you are getting a divorce in Okinawa, there are many situations. A lawyer is not necessary if you are in mutual agreement for a divorce and your spouse is Japanese.  This can be completed at the city office where you were married.

If you are a US passport holder and your spouse is also a US passport holder, this can be completed without a lawyer and through a service located here: which allows you to avoid any high lawyer fees by doing a direct filing at the Family Court.

If you are not in mutual agreement then you must attend court mediation meetings until you and your spouse can come to an agreement. This procedure is costly, but Okinawa Translator can assist on the filing and on-site interpreting at the family courts.

4. Obtaining a document, reissuing a document, or retrieving a copy of a marriage certificate, birth certificate, family registry or any other type of official document.

This procedure can be done with Okinawa Translator. Our office specializes in obtaining legal documents on behalf of clients with expediency. You can email directly and make an inquiry here:

5. Applying for Visa Applications in Okinawa, Japan

To apply for a visa in Japan seems at first like a daunting task but, all the information for the requirements for your nationality and types of visas available can be found directly at the immigration office. There are two locations in Okinawa, one near the Kadena Rotary in Kadena Town and the other downtown in Naha City.

When submitting any of the required documents from a foreign country written in a language other than Japanese they will need an official translation of those documents.

Okinawa Translator can help provide translation services for any of those documents into Japanese no matter what language they may originally be in.

David Higgins is a full time Japanese/English translation company owner located in Okinawa, Japan. David, his wife Hazuki and four employees and various freelancers of other languages run Okinawa Translator. They specialize in translation of all kinds of documents, technical manuals and on site interpreting for instructional safety classes with the military to family reunions. They have expanded their business all over Japan and overseas to serve customers in any location.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *