If you are arrested
If you are arrested, we will help you
Anyone who is either arrested or charged for criminal offences is entitled to ask for a defense attorney. People who are charged and cannot afford to hire an attorney are appointed an attorney on behalf of them by the government.
In Japan, however, people who are under investigation (that is, before prosecution) are not entitled to apply for government-appointed attorneys. Hence, until recently, it was very difficult for those who were arrested and detained to ask for an attorney.
It goes without saying, however, that people under investigation need an attorney equally as much as those who are under trial. It was for this very reason that the "Toban-Bengoshi" system was created.
Bar associations located in each prefecture operate a "Toban-Bengoshi" system.
As soon as an attorney-on-duty receives contact from an arrested person or his/her family, the attorney goes immediately to the police station, meets the person arrested, and gives advice. The first meeting is conducted free of charge. If the arrested person wishes to ask for further assistance from the attorney, assistance will be provided at the arrested person's own cost. Those who cannot afford to pay attorney fees may be able to receive support provided by the legal aid system.
If a person under arrest would like to request a defense attorney, they need to tell police officers that they wish to ask for Toban-Bengoshi. The police officers are required to contact a bar association when asked about this.
In order to contact the "Toban-Bengoshi Center", managed by three bar associations in Tokyo (Tokyo Bar Association, Dai-ichi Tokyo Bar Association and Daini Tokyo Bar Association), please call 03-3580-0082.
For areas other than Tokyo, please contact your local bar association.
CALL us for help!:
Daini Tokyo Bar Association
PHONE CALL :03-3580-0082.
You can also be appointed an attorney for juvenile criminal cases
If a juvenile is taken into custody, is subject to investigation, or arrested, an attorney can provide counsel for the juvenile in question. If a juvenile case is brought into a domestic court, an attorney can provide support, as counsel, by meeting with the defendant to investigate evidence of or the cause of wrongdoing, and provide investigators and judges with their opinions about the case.
To contact "Toban-Bengoshi Center", please call 03-3580-0082.
Children's Rights Society