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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 June 2 - 8  > JCP talks with Japanese bar association officials
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2010 June 2 - 8 [JCP]

JCP talks with Japanese bar association officials

June 4, 2010
The Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers Group on June 3 received representations from the Japan Federation of Bar Association (JFBA) demanding JCP cooperation on a movement maintain state-paid salaries for legal apprentices.

The law on legal training states that those who have passed the bar examination shall complete a one-year training period as legal apprentices and that they will be paid by the state during their training period. However, as a result of the 2004 revision of the law under the judicial system reform policy, from November, 2010, legal apprentices, if necessary, have to apply for a state loan for their living expenses because the government will stop paying their salaries.

In the meeting, regarding the abolition of the state-paid salary system, JFBA President Utsunomiya Kenji said, “Because I grew up in a poor family, if the government hadn’t paid for the legal training period of one year, it would have been very difficult for me to become a lawyer. A program ostensibly set up to foster the legal profession should not exempt those who can’t afford the cost. Such judicial system reform must be closely examined and reassessed.” Utsunomiya asked the JCP for its help in addressing this issue.

JCP Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi stated, “It is essential for the state to hold the responsibility for developing human resources to protect people’s rights. The JCP will do its utmost to protect the system in which legal apprentices can receive salaries during their period of legally mandated training.”

JCP member of the House of Councilors Nihi Sohei brought up this issue at the June 1 House of Councilors Judicial Affairs Committee meeting. Nihi, who is also a lawyer, referred to the fact that many legal apprentices and young lawyers are saddled with heavy debts and that young lawyers have difficulties in starting their careers.

The JFBA survey of legal apprentices found that 50 percent of the respondents are in debt, with an average debt of three million yen and with some holding debts up to 12 million yen.
- Akahata, June 4, 2010
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