Signing of a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between
Japan and the United States of America

6 August 2003

  1. The signing of the Treaty between Japan and the United States of America on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty) [PDF] took place on Tuesday, 5 August 2003, in Washington D.C. The treaty was signed by Ms. Mayumi Moriyama, Minister of Justice, Mr. Sadakazu Tanigaki, Minister of State, Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission and Mr. Ryozo Kato, Ambassador of Japan to the United States of America (Japanese side) and Mr. John Ashcroft, Attorney General of the United States of America (US side).
  2. The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, among other things, stipulates that each contracting Party shall, upon request by the other contracting party, provide mutual legal assistance in connection with investigations, prosecutions and other proceedings in criminal matters, and as a framework for that purpose, that each contracting Party shall designate the Central Authority (for Japan, the Central Authority is the Minister of Justice or the National Public Safety Commission, and for the United States of America, the Central Authority is the Attorney General), which shall communicate directly with one another.
  3. It is expected that the conclusion of this treaty ensures that requests for legal assistance made by Japan to the United States will be implemented with increased certainty, and that mutual legal assistance will be provided in a more speedy manner through direct communication between the Central Authorities.

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