Important legal notice
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View Treaty - General Data

Type of Agreement
Official Title
Agreement between the European Union and Japan on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters
Place of Signature
Date of Signature
Date of Entry Into Force
Objective of Agreement
The purpose of the Agreement is the mutual provision of legal assistance between EU Member States and Japan to establish more effective cooperation between the European Union Member States and Japan in the area of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
The present agreement offers a framework between the parties to mutually provide legal assistance. Mutual legal assistance covers all aspects of investigating and prosecuting crime, including taking witness statements; obtaining evidence, including through execution of search and seizure; serving court documents; assisting with the freezing or seizure and confiscation of proceeds of crime, and "any other assistance permitted under the laws of the requested State and agreed upon between a Member State and Japan" (see Article 3(1)(k) of the Agreement). It does not, however, apply to extradition, transfer of proceedings in criminal matters and enforcement of sentences other than confiscation. The Agreement provides for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters between Japan and the twenty-seven EU member states. Based on a request by one side to the other, the Agreement establishes obligations to execute assistance such as provision of evidence in connection with proceedings including investigations and prosecutions. It also provides that central authorities listed in the Annex I to this Agreement directly communicate between themselves, rather than via diplomatic routes, to this end. Through the conclusion of this agreement, Japan and the EU member states will be able to exercise mutual legal assistance on broader range of issues and it becomes more certain that requests would be executed. It is also expected that, through the direct communication between central authorities, the efficiency and speed of mutual legal assistance between the Japan and the EU member states will improve and that Japan-EU cooperation tackling crimes will be promoted further.
OJ Number
L 39
OJ Date
OJ Page
Parties to the Agreement
European Union
Authentic Texts
Subject Matters
7226.956-Far East
767-Justice, freedom and security