Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters

     Top Page   Introduction   Guidance   Laws&Treaties


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.


Obtaining Assistance from Japan: → Click for the guidance

If your jurisdiction is thinking of sending a MLA request to Japan, see this guideline.
    MLA request,non-Treaty

MLA request with Treaty
    Checklist for drafting a request

Laws and Treaties

This section provides relevant laws and treaties for Mutual Legal Assistance.


Contact Us

International Affairs Division,

Criminal Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Justice

TEL: +81-3-3592-7049

FAX: +81-3-3592-7063  


External Links

Japanese Government

-          Ministry of Foreign Affairs

-          National Police Agency

International Bodies

-          UNODC

MLAT Partners

-          US Central Authority

-          Korea Central Authority

-          China Central Authority (Ministry of Justice)

-          China Central Authority (Ministry of Public Security)

-          HK Central Authority

-          Russia Central Authority (Ministry of Justice)

-          Russia Central Authority (General Prosecutor's Office)