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Statement on Bill on Prevention of Transfer of Proceeds from Crimes


Today, Japan's Cabinet decided to send a bill on the Pr

evention of Transfer  of Proceeds from Crimes to the current ordinary session of the Diet. The original bill as drafted by the National Police Agency included a provision which obliged attorneys to secretly report suspicious transactions; however, the provision was deleted prior to submission to the Diet.


The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) has strongly opposed any legislation which would oblige attorneys to report suspicious transactions because it would damage the confidential attorney-client relationship which is a pillar of the legal system of justice. The JFBA appreciates that this bill exempts attorneys from the obligation to report suspicious transactions, which reflects our argument. The JFBA will continuously monitor and prevent legislation aiming to create a system which forces attorneys to betray the confidence placed in them by their clients because such a system would shake the very foundation of the legal system of justice.


This bill delegates the JFBA to establish measures for attorneys to identify clients, record transactions and maintain records in accordance with JFBA rules and regulations. The JFBA has already drafted rules on identification of clients and record-keeping and they will be sent to the organization's Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on March 1, 2007. The draft rules fully satisfy the requirements of the bill.


The JFBA obviously does not take issue with prohibiting attorneys from being involved in money laundering and will make its utmost efforts to promote this spirit among its members and also provide necessary training.


Seigoh Hirayama
Japan Federation of Bar Associations
February 13, 2007

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