We prefer “Lawsuits” to “Arbitration” in Japan.

It is popular to have clauses of arbitration in international transaction contracts.
When disputes arise, the “Japan Commercial Arbitration Association”, “ICC Japan”, ”ADR Center of JFBA” and so on have arbitrated in order to settle disputes in Japan as well.
However, the number of the cases resolved by arbitration are quite few.
In contrast, there are many cases resolved by lawsuits. 

The following statistical table shows how little arbitration is used.

The number of the civil cases that were presented to the district court during 2012 in Japan


The number of the cases that were resolved by  arbitration in  ADR Center of JFBA during 2012 in Japan


The number of the cases that were presented to the JCAA during 2012 in Japan


In Japan, we use lawsuits much more than arbitration to settle disputes.

Are you concerned about the quality of courts in Japan?
From my 17 years exprience as a lawyer, Japanese judges are somewhat bureaucratic, but most of them are excellent (it is true).  In most cases, they can determine fairly and appropriately.
Therefore, we certainly recommend using court procedures to resolve disputes.