Efforts of the Japan Federation of Shiho-shoshi’s Associations

1. Regional Justice Expansion Fund

Shiho-shoshi conduct operations even in small towns, but access to justice is insufficient in some rural areas. The Japan Federation of Shiho-shoshi’s Associations supports Shiho-shoshi who provide legal services in areas where access to justice is difficult with the aim of promoting community-based activities.

2. Shiho-shoshi’s Associations Mediation Center

Before deciding to file suit in a court of law as the final measure, Japanese people, generally, want to solve legal problems through discussion, as far as possible. With the enforcement of the “Act on Promotion of Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR Law) in 2007, the Japan Federation of Shiho-shoshi’s Associations established the “Shiho-shoshi’s Associations Mediation Center”. As the facilitators and agents of ADR procedures, Shiho-shoshi are making efforts to achieve early, out-of-court settlements of disputes by extra-judicial mediation.

3. Shiho-shoshi Consultation Center

By taking advantage of the characteristics of Shiho-shoshi that exist all over Japan, for the purpose of enabling Shiho-shoshi to provide high-quality legal services whenever, wherever, to anyone, the Japan Federation of Shiho-shoshi’s Associations established the Shiho-shoshi Consultation Center across Japan starting in the fiscal year, 2005. The number of Shiho-shoshi Consultation Centers totals about 150 at present.*
(*as of September, 2014)

4. Citizens Relief Fund

Following the occurrence of the “Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake” of 1995, for providing consultations and legal support services toward the settlement of legal problems faced by disaster victims, the Japan Federation of Shiho-shoshi’s Associations founded its original Citizen Relief Fund in 1999.
In Japan, natural disasters, including earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions and typhoons frequently occur. Therefore, the federation dispatches Shiho-shoshi to support disaster victims using the Citizens Relief Fund and they continue reconstruction assistance activities, as approved lawyers.
In “the Great East Japan Earthquake” of 2011, we are proud to say that the Federation established a unified headquarters for disaster control within the same day as the earthquake disaster occurred, as well as instituting disaster control measures, establishing a headquarters within the Shiho-shoshi’s Associations of the disaster-affected areas and has since provided finely-tuned legal relief operations for the affected citizens.

5. Legal education

Justice plays an important role in the prevention and settlement of disputes. Shiho-shoshi support the education of junior and senior high school students so that they may learn about justice and to cultivate the capability to participate in establishing rules for preventing and settling disputes, all by themselves!