Binational projects – Germany & Japan

The German-Japanese Mediation Project

MiKK originated from a pilot project on mediation in Franco-German family conflicts. Continuing this tradition, we attach great importance to exchange and close cooperation between mediators, lawyers, judges, academics and institutions across national borders.

Our international projects have given rise to an extensive network and rich experience. They thus contribute significantly to the further development and promotion of mediation in cross-border family conflicts at various levels.

For several years now, there has been a lively exchange between the Germany-based MiKK and the University of Osaka, the Tokyo Bar Association, the Daiichi-Tokyo Bar Association and other institutions and mediators in Japan. In the beginning, MiKK’s part of the project was upheld mainly by Christoph C. Paul, who was invited to Japan several times for lectures and trainings. Christian von Baumbach has been committed to the project since 2017 and Eva Schwittek since 2019.

Japan only joined the Hague Convention on Child Abduction in 2014 and was subsequently looking for best practice examples and experience in developing the legal framework for the necessary mediation procedures. Traditionally, alternative dispute resolution procedures play a major role in the Japanese judiciary, but follow different procedural principles and are not designed for international cases. The experiences in Germany and by MiKK in the context of cross-border mediations were met with great interest. Thus, MiKK has been active in recent years as a contact and training partner for various institutions, and close relationships and many personal friendships have developed.

   Activities

2024

For the 10th Time MiKK Seminars at Osaka University

Since 2015, we have regularly conducted seminars on Cross-border Family Mediation at the Graduate School of Law and Politics at Osaka University. In January 2024, MiKK was a guest there for the 10th time. As in previous years, Christoph Paul, Eva Schwittek, and Christian von Baumbach led the seminar, with Eva Schwittek participating online on the topic of “Dealing with highly emotional cases in mediation.”

The special feature of this year’s seminar was the mixture of experienced practitioners with university students, who mutually enriched each other. This mixture led to a particularly lively exchange. Participants came from Japan, Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, and Taiwan. The focus of this year’s seminar was on the legal issues associated with cross-border family conflicts, and on the other hand the communication techniques, which are always received with great interest. Cultural aspects and differences were also discussed. A central question that kept arising was: What is needed to make communication in mediation between people from Japan and abroad as effective as possible? In particular, discussions centered around the impact of direct and indirect communication styles on the practice of active listening.

The participants discussed the upcoming changes to Japanese family law, which aim, among other things, to establish a form of shared parental responsibility. After a lengthy revision process, these plans, upon implementation, will surely have significant implications for Japanese society and international families.

We have been warmly welcomed again and would like to thank Prof. Mari Nagata and her assistant Ayako Yamada for this. On the occasion of this seminar, Mari Nagata and Christian von Baumbach were appointed as MiKK Ambassadors for Japan.

We are looking forward very much to further cooperation with Osaka University in this binational project, which is particularly significant for both of us personally and also for MiKK.

Christoph C. Paul,  Christian von Baumbach

2023

  • Basic Mediation Training at the University of Osaka, Graduate School of Law and Politics; Trainer: Christian von Baumbach
  • Mediation in Practice: MiKK Foundation Training at the Tokyo Bar Association; Trainer: Christian von Baumbach
  • CBFM Training at the University of Osaka, Graduate School of Law and Politics; Trainer: Christoph C. Paul, Christian von Baumbach and Eva Schwittek
  • ‘Justice for Families – Learning from Germany in the Best Interests of the Child’, Symposium of the Womens Bar Association of Japan, Hybrid: Hibiya Library in Tokyo and online, Presentations by: Christoph C. Paul, Dr. Joanna Guttzeit, Christian von Baumbach

 

2022

  • Basic Mediation Training at the University of Osaka, Graduate School of Law and Politics; Trainer: Christian von Baumbach
  • CBFM Training at the University of Osaka, Graduate School of Law and Politics; Trainer: Christoph C. Paul, Christian von Baumbach and Eva Schwittek
  • Online Presentation by Christian von Baumbach at the Tokyo Bar Association

2021

  • Online: Basic Mediation Training at the Universtity of Osaka, Graduate School of Law and Politics; Trainer: Christian von Baumbach
  • Online Meeting of the Osaka MiKK Alumni Group at the Osaka University, Presentations by Christoph C. Paul, Noriko Odagiri and Mika Aotake
  • Online Meeting of the Osaka MiKK Alumni Group at the Osaka University, Presentations by Susan Tay, Myleen Chua and Rodel Taton

2020

  • Lecture on “Voice of the Child” at a symposium of the Tokyo Bar Association in Tokyo
  • Meeting of Christian von Baumbach and Eva Schwittek with the Dai-Ichi Tokyo Bar Association
  • CBFM Training at the University of Osaka, Graduate School of Law and Politics; Trainers: Christoph C. Paul, Christian von Baumbach and Eva Schwittek
  • Christian von Baumbach and Eva Schwittek visit the Japan International Mediation Center Kyoto (JIMC Kyoto)

2019

  • CBFM Training at the University of Osaka in co-operation with Prof. Mari Nagata and the MIFA-Projekt; Trainers: Christian von Baumbach and Eva Schwittek
  • Lectures by Christian von Baumbach and Eva Schwittek on CBFM and MiKK at the University of Osaka
  • Mari Nagata and Christian von Baumbach visit the Japanese embassy Berlin
  • Lectures by Christian von Baumbach and Eva Schwittek on “Mediation in international child-related conflicts between Japan and Germany” at the symposium “Japan: Responsibility and Liability of Digital Platforms, Corporate Law Reform and Profitability, Mediation in international child-related conflicts“ at the Max-Planck-Institute for foreign and international private law, Hamburg
  • Lectures “International Family Mediation in Europe“ by Christoph C. Paul and „The Practice of MiKK“ by Christian von Baumbach at the “Symposium on Modernity’s Challenges to Law and Dispute Resolution”, University of Tübingen

2017

  • Translation and print MiKK-Japanese flyer, translation: Christian von Baumbach
  • CBFM Training at the University of Osaka, Graduate School of Law and Politics; Trainers: Christoph C. Paul and Christian von Baumbach

2016

  • Lecture and mediation training at the University of Osaka, Graduate School of Law and Politics, in co-operation with Prof. Mari Nagata and the MIFA-Projekt; Trainer: Christoph C. Paul

2015

  • Lecture and mediation training by Christoph C. Paul at the Tokyo Bar Association
  • Lecture by Christoph C. Paul at the Osaka Bar Association
  • Training at the University of Osaka, Graduate School of Law and Politics; Trainer: Christoph C. Paul
  • A Japanese delegation of lawyers and mediators visits MiKK in Berlin

Japanese lawyers and mediators at MiKK e. V.

2014

  • Symposium on the introduction of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction in Tokyo, to which Christoph C. Paul was invited as expert and gave a lecture

Partners in Japan

Osaka University

Professor Mari Nagata at the University of Osaka, Graduate School of Law and Politics, is conducting research on family mediation and led a pilot project to conduct cross-border family mediation training in Japan, running from 2015 to 2020. These trainings were funded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and conducted with MiKK as training partner.

Website: http://www.law.osaka-u.ac.jp/en/

 

Mediation in International Family Matters (MIFA)

The MIFA project was initiated by Professor Mari Nagata at the University of Osaka to research Western-style forms of mediation in international family conflicts and to adapt them to Japanese procedures. Special attention is paid to the legal framework and the organisation of training courses on Cross Border Family Mediation (CBFM) in Japan.

Website: www.law.osaka-u.ac.jp/mifa/english.html

Dai-Ichi Tokyo Bar Association (Daiben)

A cooperation agreement between the Dai-Ichi Tokyo Bar Association and MiKK to conduct a joint mediation in a case of HCA with one mediator each from MiKK and Daiben was financially supported by the Japanese central authority. The agreement was drafted and adopted between December 2019 and January 2020.

Website: http://www.ichiben.or.jp/english/

 

Tokyo Bar Association (Toben)

The Tokyo Bar Association has invited Christoph Paul and others in the MiKK network repeatedly to lectures and symposia. Members of Toben have been attending our trainings in Japan and Berlin for many years.

Website: https://www.toben.or.jp/english/

Japan International Mediation Center Kyoto (JIMC Kyoto)

Japan’s first explicitly international mediation center was founded in the old imperial city of Kyoto. It is loosely affiliated with Doshisha University and primarily focuses on business mediation. In addition, the Center is fundamentally committed to the promotion of mediation and in doing so exchanges ideas and experiences in close relation with Osaka University and other actors. A special feature of JIMC is the cooperation with the Kodaiji Temple in Kyoto, where they can use various rooms of the old temple complex for mediations. During a visit we were impressed by the time-honoured and peaceful atmosphere.

Website: https://www.jimc-kyoto.jp/

 

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