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Q1. What is Mutual Legal Assistance?

-         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.

Q2. Who can send the request?

-         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. “Investigating authorities” means any authority which conducts criminal investigation, including, for instance, Juge d’instruction in France, Ermittlungsrichter in Germany, and Grand Jury in the United States.

Q3. Is a Treaty necessary for acquiring assistance from Japan?

-         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.

-         If a request comes from a State Party to a MLAT/ MLAA (mutual legal assistant agreement) with Japan, Japan will provide assistance as required under the treaty/ agreement.  A State Party to 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.


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)