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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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is it possible to voice record conversations of co-workers

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is it possible to voice record conversations of co-workers at work (not in private) in japan?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

In 2000, the Japan Supreme Court held that the secret recording of a conversation would not be illegal where a party suspects they are a victim of a crime or some offense. See: Recording of Conversation Case, Case 1999(A) No. 96 (Supreme Court, P.B. 2000). Thus, the law in Japan does allow these recordings and as long as your employer has no rule against recording in the work place you would be allowed to do so.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dear Mr. PaulMJD,

thank you very much for your answer to my question regarding the voice recording of co-workers. It is confirming that, what I had heard before, but with no approval from an official side. The Supreme Court ruling this possibility is based on which law?

The case is, that the peticular co-worker has threatened me and my wife (we all are working at the same place) to take actions and revenge after he leaves the company against us and other co-workers (he was actually bullying another co-worker, tearing off reports from official books, manipulating machines), because my wife has to deal with him as a translator. He had mentioned this even in front of the Human Resources Department, who didn't took action.

I wanted to have a proof, that he is up-to-something, because after his termination he and some followers of him were discussing in the workshop place (where many people have access to) how to proceed.

He is claiming, that I violated his privacy rights by secretly recording those conversations at the working place. My recording device though has been stolen by someone 2 days ago and I have heard threads, that he will sue me.

Therefore was the question if it is illegal to voice-record those conversations.

Thank you for your understanding

Kind Regards,

Uli Althoff

Thank you for your response.

It is just a Supreme Court ruling since they had no law preventing it. No, it is not illegal to record a conversation in this type of situation you describe according to the Supreme Court ruling I provided for you. The Supreme Court's ruling is what the law in Japan is.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dear Mr. PaulMJD,


thank you very much for your response and answer. It makes it clearer now to me and I could face the person with the Supreme Court's ruling.

And I could, if I have the evidence, that he knows about the recording, tell the police, that he took my recording device, that would mean, he stole it and that is a crime in Japan.

Thank you again for your help.


Kind Regards,

Uli Althoff

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