However, cases handled in court are not limited to the above. Adult guardianship (for instance, who manages the property of elderly people with severe dementia), which has increased significantly in the last 20 years, child custody disputes, and visitation exchange cases are conceivable examples. Although these cases are also handled by the court, procedures are not carried out in the form of "litigation = judgment." Instead, the court is involved in the guardianship, and simpler and more flexible procedures are being adopted. It is a group of cases other than legal proceedings, and is therefore referred to as non-contentious cases. The concept of non-contentious cases is very broad and includes the aforementioned domestic relations cases, land lease non-contentious cases, and various types of ADR (civil conciliation, etc.).
Non-contentious cases are very different from civil proceedings. For example, non-contentious procedures are conducted privately (Article 30 of the Non-Contentious Case Procedures Act, Article 33 of the Domestic Relations Case Procedure Act). In some cases, it may be possible for a person other than the parties to the dispute to file a procedure, and the principle of "Fact finding and examination of evidence by the court's own authority" is adopted (Article 49 of the Non-Contentious Case Procedures Act, Article 56 of the Domestic Relations Case Procedure Act). Moreover, the orders and judgments made by the court can also be canceled or changed due to changes in the circumstances of the case (Article 59 of the Non-Contentious Case Procedures Act, Article 78 of the Domestic Relations Case Procedure Act).
Two major movements are underway that will have a major impact on the future of partitioning of property in co-ownership and partitioning an estate. In April 2020, a portion of law to revise the inheritance field of the Civil Code was enforced, and the "spousal residence right" was granted for the purpose of protecting the residence interests of the spouse in the partitioning of an estate (Article 1028 and the following articles of the Civil Code). This amendment can be recognized as protecting the portion of interests of the co-owners by emphasizing the use of the residential building of the decedent's spouse. Now, as a result of the enforcement of this amended law, in what cases will the judgment of the court recognize the spousal residence right (see Article 1029 of the Civil Code)? Furthermore, during the partitioning of property in co-ownership, will there be a strengthened movement towards protection for profits obtained from use of the property in co-ownership?
The other movement is the consequence of the problem of land of unknown ownership, which is currently under debate by the Legislative Council. It is said that land and buildings of unknown ownership are caused when real estate that is part of inheritance becomes property in co-ownership due to inheritance, after which events such as the successive death of heirs/heiresses results in a large number of co-owners. In order to prevent this problem, it is necessary to eliminate the state of co-ownership. In that respect, it becomes very important that the form of partitioning of property in co-ownership and partitioning an estate is capable of forcibly eliminating co-ownership. The important points of the interim  released in December 2019 are not only to specify the partitioning via full-price compensation, which is admitted in response to the judicial precedents, and the prioritization of partitioning methods more clearly than articles, but also to further align the contents of partitioning of property in co-ownership and partitioning of an estate; for example, adopting the rules for determining the room for discretion by the court as recognized in case of partitioning of an estate for partitioning of property in co-ownership (Article 196 of the Domestic Relations Case Procedure Act). The draft also has the possibility of significantly advancing the connection and fusion of both types of partitioning; for example, if partitioning of an estate has not been performed for a long period of time, the draft recognizes room for processing individual partitioning of property in co-ownership for assets that are part of an inheritance which would normally be subject to integrated processing (partitioning of property in semi-co-ownership). This is expected to stimulate meaningful discussions in the field.