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Japanese Law A-Z

Japanese Law-Related Resources by Topic or Type (A-Z)

Court System

There are a wide variety of government and commercial publishers of Japanese court decisions, both in print and online. Listed here are only the most important, easily accessible sources, with a special emphasis on any sources that offer English translations.

The Japanese court system is administered by the Supreme Court of Japan, and includes these courts:

  • [Supreme Court] 最高裁判所 | Saikō Saibansho.
  • [High Courts] 高等裁判所 | Kōtō Saibansho.
  • [District Courts / lower courts] 地方裁判所 / 下級裁判所 | Chihō Saibansho / Kakyū Saibansho.
  • [Summary Courts] 簡易裁判所 | Kan’i Saibansho.
  • [Family Courts] 家庭裁判所 | Katei Saibansho.
  • [Administrative Courts] 行政裁判所 | Gyōsei Saibansho.
  • [Intellectual Property Courts] 知的財産裁判所 | Chiteki Zaisan Saibansho.
Major Courts with U.S. Counterparts
(Japanese Name)
(English Name)
Similar U.S. Court

(Saikō Saibansho)

Supreme Court

Supreme Court

Court of last resort; Reviews lower court Decisions

(Kōtō Saibansho)

High Court

Federal District Court

Appellate Court

(Chihō Saibansho)

District Court

State courts

Trial court

(Kan'i Saibansho)

Summary Courts

State and Municipal courts

 Trial court