Once you obtain a judgment against the debtor, the debtor will usually pay the amount s/he has been ordered to pay. If the debtor fails to pay, you will have to enforce the judgment debt.

The question of enforcement should be considered before proceedings are ever commenced as it is not worth obtaining a judgment against a debtor that has no means to pay. It should be satisfied that prima facie the debtor has the means to pay the amount in issue or that the debtor has assets that can be taken from them if necessary.

Enforcement requires new proceedings that are different from the main proceedings. An execution officer handles the enforcement of judgments. Enforcement of a monetary judgment includes:

  • seizure and an auction of immovable property (i.e. real estate)
  • seizure and an auction of movable property
  • attachment and execution of an unsuccessful party’s rights against a third party (e.g. receivables)

For enforcement of judgments rendered by a foreign court, please see enforcement of foreign judgments in Japan.

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