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  1. Projects and energy: independent local firms
  2. Leading individuals: bengoshi

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Anderson Mori & Tomotsune focuses on energy and infrastructure projects and has notable strength in project finance. Takashi Akahane and Reiji Takahashi are highly regarded. Highlights for the practice included acting for Sonnedix in the project financing of a solar mega-plant project, and advising New Kansai International Airport Company on selecting a business operator for the operation of Kansai and Osaka international airports. Norifumi Takeuchi is recommended.

Key names at Mori Hamada & Matsumoto include Takahiro Kobayashi, who specialises in Japanese energy project financings, Masanori Sato, who is experienced in infrastructure and PPP, and Shigeki Okatani, who focuses on energy projects and PPP in the airport, toll road and water sectors. Kobayashi advised Mizuho Bank, BTMU and SMBC on the project financing of an LNG power plant. Other clients include SB Energy, Solar Frontier and Resona Group.

Shunpei Tanaka and Jiro Mikami (who is ‘a key player’ in project finance) lead Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu’s team. Rintaro Hirano led advice to Mizuho Bank and SMBC as mandated lead arrangers and the Private Finance Initiative Promotion Corporation of Japan as mezzanine lender in the project financing of the privatisation of Kansai and Osaka international airports. Takao Higuchi is well regarded.

Nishimura & Asahi acted for SMBC as lenders on the financing of a coal-fired IPP project in Sendai, and assisted Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation with a liability guarantee relating to the Yuzawa geothermal power project. Hiroshi Maeda heads the project finance practice; Tomohiro Sato and Takashi Saito are also recommended.

Atsumi & Sakai focuses primarily on project financing, and is experienced in the areas of renewable energy, LNG, petrochemicals, mining and infrastructure. Yutaka Sakai, who is recommended for solar projects, led advice to Photovolt Development partners regarding a photovoltaic power plant. PFI specialist Miho Niunoya assisted Mitsubishi Research Institute and Yokohama City on several PFI projects.

Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi is the name to note at TMI Associates, and Kiyomi Kikuchi and Haruo Narimoto have been active in this space. The team has experience in project financing, renewable energy (particularly onshore wind and geothermal matters), infrastructure, waste disposal and electricity.

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