As expected, Japan Airlines formally filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday in Tokyo District Court. The company’s announcement of the filing listed 2.3 trillion yen ($25 billion) in liabilities, making it one of the largest restructurings in Japanese history. The company is set to shed almost 16,000 jobs, about a third of its workforce, in the process.

If JAL were an American company, this would be the point at which lawyers began descending on it in droves. Since it’s not an American company, we turned to one of JAL’s lawyers, Kazuhiro Yanagida, an associate at Tokyo’s Nishimura & Asahi, for some insight into what happens now. Turns out things can be expected to play out a bit differently in Japan.

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