American Citizen Services
Depositions in Japan
Taking a deposition in Japan can be complex; depositions are controlled by detailed agreements between the United States and the Government of Japan, and procedures cannot be modified or circumvented. Orders by U.S. courts cannot compel the Government of Japan to amend or overlook its judicial regulations and procedures. In addition, the Embassy cannot compel the Government of Japan to act faster, or in a way more convenient or beneficial to any party, even with a U.S. court order requesting such action.
The best way to ensure the success of your deposition is by careful reading of these instructions, and carefully following the steps outlined below.
Processing times can vary; clearance and visa issues solely under the control of the Government of Japan can take several weeks or longer, so it is never too early to begin the process.
If you are a U.S. government official/attorney, visit our website "Information for U.S. DOJ Attorneys."
Availability of Tokyo's Deposition Room
All depositions must occur at the Embassy or at our Consulate in Osaka-Kobe (these instructions apply only to the Embassy; visit our website concerning "Taking Deposition in Osaka" if you are seeking to depose in Osaka).
You cannot depose outside of the Embassy or Consulate, such as at a hotel or private office.
While electronically recording depositions is permissible, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo does not have the ability to facilitate telephone or videoconferenced depositions. However, videotaping is permitted. We do not have videoconferencing or teleconferencing equipment available.
No dates available before June 12, 2013
June 12 - June 21
July 1 - July 19
August 5 - October 2
October 7 -
This page is updated regularly, so please check back for updates.
The American Embassy is closed on both U.S. and Japanese holidays.
Overview of the Deposition Process
As soon as possible
Reserve Deposition Room
by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by fax to American Citizen Services
We are open 8:30-13:00, 14:00-17:30, Mon - Fri, closed Japanese and U.S. holidays.
Tel: 81-3-3224-5000 or Fax: 81-3-3224-5856. Before calling, check the current local time in Tokyo.
Within three weeks from the date the tentative reservation was made
Pay the $1,283.00 reservation fee by international money order or certified bank check payable to the "U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, Japan." Personal or corporate checks are not acceptable. All funds must be in U.S. dollars and checks must be drawn on a U.S. bank.
Mail the check to us at: U.S. Embassy Tokyo, attention American Citizen Services - Deposition, 10-5, Akasaka, 1-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan, 107-8420. Telephone 03-3224-5000.
Six weeks prior to the deposition
Court order/commission, and statutory deposition fees express-mailed to:
U.S. Embassy Tokyo, attention American Citizen Services - Deposition, 10-5, Akasaka, 1-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan, 107-8420. Telephone 03-3224-5000.
Note: If the court order and deposit are not received in our office at least six weeks before the start of the deposition, the deposition room will be released for other reservations.
At least three weeks prior to the deposition
Apply for a deposition visa at the Japanese Embassy or a consulate in the U.S.
You cannot apply for your visa until the steps above have been completed and we have scheduled your deposition. The Embassy cannot assist you in obtaining your Japanese visa; contact a travel agent or the Japanese Embassy or Consulate nearest you.
- Visas for Attorneys Taking Depositions in Japan
- Information for American Attorneys Residing in Japan
At least two weeks prior to the deposition
Email or fax a list of all participants in your deposition and all electronic equipment including make, model and serial number to be used to the U.S. Embassy Tokyo, email@example.com or 81-3-3224-5856. This is necessary for our security office to allow you into our building.
This flow chart is only an overview of the process; before beginning to schedule your deposition, please review carefully our detailed instructions to avoid delays.
- The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo does not have the ability to facilitate telephone or videoconferenced depositions. However, videotaping is permitted. Participants must be physically present at the Embassy.
- Per the Government of Japan, all depositions must take place on Embassy or Consulate premises; no exceptions are allowed for hotel conference rooms or the like.
- All persons participating in a deposition must have the proper Japanese visa.
The Embassy does not supply and cannot arrange interpreters, court reporters, video crews and the like. Follow the links below to for staff who you can contact independently to arrange for your support needs.
- Stenographic, interpretation and translation services.
- Video services.
- English-speaking Local Attorneys in the Tokyo area.
- Other Resources and Services.
Your Deposition at the Embassy
Your use of the deposition room falls under the general security guidelines that govern all visitors to the Embassy. Please note:
- The room is yours to use 8:30-13:00 and 14:00-16:00, Mon - Fri, closed Japanese and U.S. holidays. For security reasons, all participants must vacate the deposition room and the consular lobby by 16:00 when the entrance door is closed.
- All persons entering the Embassy must present photo ID (preferably a passport) and submit to a bag and a metal detector screening.
- You may not bring any electronic devices into a U.S. diplomatic facility (Embassy or consulate) except those pre-approved by Embassy officials for recording the deposition. For equipment allowed into any U.S. diplomatic facility, no computer or other electronic device may be connected to any network, whether wired or wireless/Bluetooth. Any removable PCM card, USB device, or smart card providing wireless/Bluetooth functionality must be removed from the computer or electronic device for the period while the computer or electronic device is on the premises, and any non-removable wireless/Bluetooth functionality must be turned off. No picture taking is allowed in or around U.S. diplomatic facilities. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in removal from the premises or a subsequent ban.
- For security reasons, when taking periodic breaks outside the consular waiting room area, please remain on the direct path between the Embassy's main gate and the entrance to the Consular Section. In addition, we ask that if you choose to take your break inside the building, you keep the noise to a minimum as Embassy personnel are conducting visa interviews nearby.
- No cell phones including iPhones and BlackBerry smartphones are allowed inside the Embassy. A pay phone is available just outside the deposition room.
- You may not bring food or drinks into the Embassy. Vending machines are available near the deposition room.
- We have no photocopier available for deposition use. Copies can be made at a convenience store across the street from the Embassy.
- There is no smoking anywhere in the Embassy.
- There is no public parking available at or near the Embassy (we are very accessible by public transportation or taxi; The map is available at the Embassy's website).
- You must vacate the deposition room between 1300-1400. Several tasty restaurants are within walking distance of the Embassy.
- We are unfortunately unable to take phone messages, make calls or send/receive FAXes for you
- The deposition room seats about 8 people and is air conditioned. Limited electrical power is available, with standard U.S.-style plugs but 100V, 50 Hz power. Only dual-voltage, 50/60hz laptops will work; others require an adaptor you must purchase yourself.
- Restrooms and a drinking fountain are available just outside the deposition room.
Other Judicial Assistance Information
- Visas for Attorneys Deposing in Japan.
- Information for U.S. government officials/attorneys
- For additional questions, please contact the office of Overseas Citizens Services, U.S. Department of State, (202) 647-3675, or visit their web page at travel.state.gov.