“Mutual Legal Assistance” (MLA) referred here means the cooperation on provision of evidence(s) necessary for a criminal investigation or prosecution of a foreign State, based on the request by that State.
Japan will provide the assistance to the request on criminal investigation and prosecution thus the requests of MLA to Japan should be initiated by the prosecuting and/or investigating authorities of the requesting State.
Japan can provide assistance to a State without a mutual legal assistant treaty (MLAT) with Japan. Such assistance can be provided based on the principle of reciprocity and domestic law.
If a request comes from a party to a MLAT/ MLAA (mutual legal assistant agreement) with Japan, Japan will provide assistance as required under the treaty/ agreement.
* Current MLAT/MLAA partners:
US, Korea, China, Hong Kong SAR, EU, Russia.
A State Party to a multi-lateral treaty to which Japan adheres also and which prescribes that it may be used as a legal basis of mutual legal assistance, may base its request to Japan on that treaty in accordance with the treaty requirements.
** Applicable multi-lateral treaty includes: the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the United Nations Convention against Corruption, and Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention).
Getting Assistance from Japan: Guidance
Laws and Treaties
This section provides relevant laws and treaties for Mutual Legal Assistance.
International Affairs Division,
Criminal Affairs Bureau
Ministry of Justice