The Role of Law and Lawyers in Japan and the United States

The issues raised in connection with delivery of legal services in Japan are complex and best understood against the backdrop of the development of the legal profession in Japan. Part I of this article discusses the history of the Japanese legal profession, especially its recent history. Part II shows how this development has shaped the issues in the current dispute. It recounts the development of the dispute, the arguments that have been made on the Japanese and American sides, and the course of the negotiations over legal services as part of the Japan-U.S. trade agenda. This article concludes with a critical analysis of the recent Japanese proposals for regulating “foreign legal consultants.”