HOME > About Tokyo Public Law Office

About Tokyo Public Law Office

Tokyo Public Law Office (TPLO) was established in June 2002 with assistance from Tokyo Bar Association in order to enhance legal access to all residents of Tokyo and around Japan, especially to those who may have difficulties in finding lawyers for financial and other reasons.
Public law offices are established and operated in cooperation with bar associations in order to conduct various pro-bono activities.
TPLO has been cooperating with local governments, professional in other areas, and various specialized institutions in order to reach out to those needing legal assistance.
For details, please access this website (Japanese only):

About the Foreign Nationals and International Service Section (FISS)

The Section of Legal Assistance for Foreigners (SLAF) was founded in November 2010 as the first group of professionals who specialize in providing legal assistance to foreign residents in Japan. Although there are many multi-national law offices in Japan, all mainly cater to corporations and business clients. SLAF was the first attempt made by the bar associations to create a section that focuses on individual needs of foreigners living in Japan. For over 2 million foreigners who are living in Japan, access to lawyers is very limited due to language barriers, lack of information and cultural differences, among other reasons. Lawyers in Japan also tend to hesitate to take cases involving foreigners, as many cases involve detailed knowledge of Immigration law and laws outside Japan. Since SLAF opened two years ago, it has been providing multilingual legal services on nearly 600 cases to clients from more than 40 different nationalities.

The success clearly indicates the need for further improvement of legal access for foreigners. Based on this background, it was decided that the new Mita Branch be opened, due to the high foreign population and its close proximity to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau.

The Foreign Nationals and International Service Section (FISS) is a team of professionals with extensive experience in handling cases involving foreigners. Our aim is to provide necessary legal services to all foreigners in need of assistance. With double the number of existing members, we believe that the accumulation of experiences working with foreigners and international cases will form a stronger basis for providing legal services to foreign clients.

Another important function of FISS is the training of young lawyers. We work with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and Kanto Federation of Bar Associations to provide on-the-job training for newly or recently registered lawyers who will be dispatched to various legally underserved areas in Japan. Their presence will improve legal access to Japanese and foreign residents alike in non-metropolitan areas.
Through these activities, we aim to break down obstacles that prevent lawyers from taking foreigner cases and create a base which people from any country, any region, and all over Japan can come to for legal assistance.

Our Features and Strengths:
・We specialize in cases involving foreigners and other international matters.
・We have lawyers who can provide legal advice in English, French, and Spanish.
・We can arrange to have interpreters for languages other than English, Chinese and French.
・Reservations can be made in English, Chinese and Spanish.