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Makoto Hiratsuka

Work +81 3 6666 8811
Hiratsuka & Co


Senior partner. Main practice areas are Litigation and Arbitration, Maritime matters such as Cargo claim, Charterparty, Contract of Affreightment, Shipbuilding, Sale/Purchase of vessel, Collision, Fire, Grounding, Pollution and Arrest/Release of vessel, Insurance and Reinsurance, International insolvency, Product liability and General corporate matters.


Legal Training and Research Institute of the Supreme Court of Japan (1964-1966) Since founding Hiratsuka & Co. in 1976, I handled a large number of cases in the fields of maritime, shipping and insurance laws for foreign (English, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Israeli, etc.) clients as well as for Japanese clients. These include, but not limited to, collisions, fires, explosions, grounding, charterparty disputes, cargo claims, disputes between insurers and reinsurers cases. On a number of occasions, I provided expert advices on the position under Japanese law with respect to cases pending before foreign courts / arbitration tribunals.


Japanese, English.


First Tokyo Bar Association, Private International Law Association of Japan, Japanese Maritime Law Association, International Academy of Trial Lawyers.


Faculty of Law, Tokyo University (LL.B., Private Law Course, 1963; Public Law Course, 1964) University of London (U.C.L., Graduate School; Diploma in Shipping Law, 1972).


Reading, playing the piano, gardening, traveling, golf, swimming, tennis.

Japan: Shipping

Independent local firms

Within: Leading individuals: bengoshi

Makoto Hiratsuka - Hiratsuka & Co

Within: Independent local firms

The team at Hiratsuka & Co is ‘very strong’ and stands out for advising non-Japanese clients in court cases, arbitrations and negotiations. It has filed claims on behalf of non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and cargo interests against the limitation fund of the MOL Comfort, a container ship which broke into two in the Indian Ocean in 2013; liability claims have also been filed against the Japanese shipyard, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which built the MOL Comfort. Practice head Makoto Hiratsuka is ‘a star performer in any type of maritime dispute’.

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Legal Developments in Japan

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