Checklist for Depositions in Japan (Updated)

by Planet Depos, LLC
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There are important factors to consider when scheduling international depositions, particularly when scheduling depositions in Japan.  The first thing to know about taking a deposition in Japan is that there are only two locations where a deposition may be legally taken:  the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, or the U.S. Consulate in Osaka.  This requirement is the root from which all the additional requirements stem.  In the interest of assisting paralegals maintaining well-organized information regarding all things related to international depositions, we have compiled a handy checklist.

This checklist applies to both Tokyo and Osaka.

  • Check availability of deposition rooms on the website of the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
  • At least six weeks prior to the deposition, submit the original or certified copy of the court order with the court’s seal (sample text available here) to request your reservation
    • Include with the court order the full deposit of statutory fees (currently $309.00 per hour), via international money order or certified bank check payable in U.S. dollars to the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate General
  • Within three weeks of requesting the reservation, pay the non-refundable reservation fee of $1,283.00, payable via international money order or certified bank check made out in U.S. dollars to the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate General
  • At least two weeks before the deposition, apply for the Special Deposition Visa. Include:
    • Completed application
    • Copy of the signed court order
    • Original U.S. passport
    • Extra passport photo
    • Flight itinerary
    • Hotel reservation
    • Letter requesting the Special Deposition Visa, with the below information:
      • Name and location of the court
      • Name and occupation of each witness
      • Brief summary of the case
    • Also at least two weeks before the deposition, submit a list of all participants of the deposition
    • Also, two weeks before the deposition, submit a list of all electronic equipment you will bring to the Embassy/Consulate (NO wireless!)
      • Include the owner of equipment, make, model, and serial number of each item
    • Remind attorneys to bring with them to the Embassy/Consulate their passport with the Special Deposition Visa

The above is a minimum list to prepare for taking depositions in Japan.  The Planet Depos International Scheduling team can assist with any questions regarding the above information, as well as hotel recommendations.  On-the-ground reporters, videographers, and interpreters in Japan can assist with hotel and restaurant recommendations, as well as additional logistical assistance with exhibits or just getting around Osaka or Tokyo.

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