Japan

The Japanese parliament passed legislation in December 2013 to allow class actions in consumer claims. The bill focuses on consumer contracts, excluding personal injury and product liability claims.

Its two-phase process allows government-qualified consumer organizations to sue on behalf of a defined class of claimants, prompting an initial judicial determination whether there is a sufficient "common obligation" to the claimants for the case to proceed.

In phase two, the organization conducts outreach to consumers on the defendant company’s customer list. Consumers may then opt in to a damages determination.

In 2014 through 2015, the government is charged to draft administrative/regulatory guidelines to put the law in place.  This could take about 2 years and could also open the door to problematic issues, such as loopholes.  The guidelines could alter the law in some negative ways but they cannot contradict the law.