Rising Stars: Bengoshi

Fintech - Independent local firms in Japan

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

A ‘go-to firm in Japan for fintech matters’, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune’s practice combines expertise in areas such as financial regulation, information technology and capital markets to advise fintech companies, financial institutions and venture capital clients on areas such as payments, open banking, crypto assets and digital securities.  Practice head Ken Kawai is a leading authority on digital asset regulation, and Shunsuke Aoki is notably active in mandates involving security tokens offerings. Takeshi Nagase’s practice extends to assisting crypto-asset exchanges with registration, while Keisuke Hatano has a focus on payment and settlement-related regulations. Takato Fukui frequently handles mandates with a crypto-asset dimension.

Practice head(s):

Ken Kawai

Other key lawyers:

Shunsuke Aoki; Takeshi Nagase; Keisuke Hatano; Takato Fukui


‘AMT is one of our go-to firms in Japan for fintech matters. The lawyers there are always reliable and responsive.’

‘Anderson Mori & Tomotsune has a large number of excellent lawyers and covers an extremely wide range of legal areas.’

‘Keisuke Hatano give us rational and practical solutions.’

‘Strength in legal knowledge utilising technology in securities, banking, and payment fields.’

‘Ken Kawai is one of best lawyers in the Web3 field.’

‘They have solid expertise in the fintech sector. Especially about Security Tokens, their record of accomplishment is exceptional.’

Key clients

FTX Japan K.K.

Binance Holdings Limited

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation

Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.

SBI Holdings, Inc.

Japan Security Token Offering Association

LINE Corporation

bitFlyer, Inc.

Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting LLC

Japan Financial Service Intermediary Business Association

Work highlights

  • Advised FTX Trading Limited and FTX Japan KK on Japanese legal matters related to their Chapter 11 filings.
  • Advised Binance on the acquisition of a licensed VASP in Japan, including negotiations with Japanese regulators.
  • Advised Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation on their stablecoin project.

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Praised for its ‘longstanding strong connections’ with Japanese regulatory authorities, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto assists domestic and international clients with issues such as the implementation of payment services, the building and operation of exchange platforms for crypto products and regulatory assistance for crowdfunding services. The team also wins plaudits for its handling of digital transformation mandates for financial institutions and financial services intermediation work. Co-head of the practice Masakazu Masujima, a council member of numerous Japanese Government policy committees, is a key contact for mandates involving money transmissions and crypto-assets. Fellow co-head Takane Hori centres her practice on IT and regulated transactions. Atsushi Okada completes the leadership team. Masayuki Ishibashi is embedded in work relating to security token offerings, while Masafumi Masuda is an expert on NFTs. Katsuya Terai is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Masakazu Masujima; Takane Hori; Atsushi Okada

Other key lawyers:

Masayuki Ishibashi; Masafumi Masuda; Katsuya Terai


‘Mori Hamada & Matsumoto Law Firm has a reputation and credibility as one of Japan’s top firms. This is difficult to achieve without longstanding strong connections with the authorities, but on this point, we can trust this firm.’

‘Our company has engaged Masafumi Masuda as our legal adviser. Even in the unique and innovative field of blockchain games, he offers extremely logical and appropriate perspectives, taking into consideration the background of the business.’

‘I have engaged the firm for over ten years. The firm has been consistently very competent and diligent in the assistance they provide. The firm’s client service, commercial awareness and value for money is very good.’

‘I have been working closely with Mr. Masafumi Masuda, a partner at the firm. Mr. Masuda possess the ability to deal with very complex legal issues especially in the computer mobile application, blockchain, and fintech space with excellent problem solving skills, good drafting and well-honed legal technical skills.’

Key clients

Hakuhodo DY Music & Pictures, Inc.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited

GMO Internet, Inc.



JustInCase, Inc.



TIS Inc.

MEDIA DO Co., Ltd.


Futu Holdings Limited

Seven Bank

Tosei Asset Advisors, Inc.

Culture Convenience Club Company


Kort Valuta



bajji, Inc.

double jump.tokyo Inc.

Sony Bank Incorporated

JCB Co., Ltd.

Accenture Japan Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted Seven Bank with its intergroup reorganisation whereby Seven Card Service (the operator of the nanaco e-money service and a credit card business) was transferred to Seven Bank, Ltd.
  • Assisted Tosei Asset Advisors, Inc. as it utilised the GK-TK scheme to securitise real estate.
  • Assisted Culture Convenience Club Company & CCC MK HOLDINGS in respect to a capital and business alliance with the SMBC Group that resulted in a new points brand.

Atsumi & Sakai

The ‘very strong fintech team’ at Atsumi & Sakai guides financial institutions, start-ups and IT vendors through technologically innovative work in areas including payment services, securities, insurance and data privacy. Also of note is the firm’s establishment of a policy research institute in June 2022 which aims to ‘build bridges between policies and practices in Japan that have not been tackled by either public or private institutions’. The practice is headed up by a trio of partners: Yuri Suzuki, Takafumi Ochiai and Kenichi Tanizaki. Suzuki is well versed in stablecoin legislation, Ochiai’s practice extends to dispute resolution matters in the fintech space, and Tanizaki has in-depth knowledge of banking and finance issues including bank APIs. Osamu Fujiwara leads the firm’s start-up support practice team.

Practice head(s):

Yuri Suzuki; Takafumi Ochiai; Kenichi Tanizaki

Other key lawyers:

Osamu Fujiwara


‘They established a Policy Research Institute and are building bridges between policies and practices in Japan that have not been tackled by either public or private institutions.’

‘Yuri Suzuki gives practical advice.’

‘A very strong fintech team well supported by the ancillary corporate and commercial teams.’

Key clients

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG)

The Organization of Global Financial City Tokyo (FinCity.Tokyo)

Fintech Association of Japan (FAJ)

Japanese Bankers Association (JBA)

The Center for Financial Industry Information Systems (FISC)

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)

Cabinet Office

Japan Association of Financial Services Intermediary Business

The Japan Association of New Economy (JANE)

National Strategy Office of Information and Communication Technology, Cabinet Secretariat

Financial Services Agency (FSA)

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Noted for its ‘cross-departmental collaborations’, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu leverages its longstanding expertise in the field of finance to assist major Japanese banks and financial institutions with fintech work; mobile payments, robotics process automation and blockchain technology stand out as areas of activity for the firm. The team is additionally well placed to advise on business collaborations, joint ventures and acquisitions in the fintech arena. The team is led by Taku Umezawa and Keiji Tonomura, with the former possessing deep experience of financial regulations and the latter described as being ‘at the forefront of creating new DAO laws in Japan’.

Practice head(s):

Taku Umezawa; Keiji Tonomura


‘I was impressed by how well they coordinated cross-departmental collaborations.’

The laws surrounding cryptocurrencies are evolving rapidly worldwide, making it challenging to stay updated, and often necessitating policy changes. However, Keiji Tonimura, who was in charge of our case, is at the forefront of creating new DAO laws in Japan.’

‘Mr. Keiji Tonomura is excellent.’

Key clients

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.

Toyota Financial Services Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised SoftBank Corporation on the restructuring to make PayPay a subsidiary of SoftBank.

Nishimura & Asahi

Many of Nishimura & Asahi‘s fintech lawyers have experience working for financial institutions or regulatory authorities and bring that experience to bear while advising on fintech issues ranging from crowdfunding, to transactions using applications, to payment services work. Licensing, approvals, and registrations are additional areas of expertise. Practice chair Naoya Ariyoshi is frequently instructed by banks, securities clients and fintech businesses on work including crypto-asset transactions and social trading issues. Susumu Tanizawa is well versed in domestic and international financial regulations. Other key names include structured finance specialist Akihiro Shiba and Toshiyuki Yamamoto, who is well placed to advise on digital securities in the real estate space.

Practice head(s):

Naoya Ariyoshi

Other key lawyers:

Susumu Tanizawa; Akihiro Shiba; Toshiyuki Yamamoto

Key clients

Nomura Holdings, Inc.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group

Mitsui & Co. Digital Asset Management, Ltd.

The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited

Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation

Liquid, Inc.

Crowd Credit, Inc.

Rakuten Wallet, Inc.

Rakuten Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Nomura Securities on the launch of four smartphone app-based services for asset management and support.
  • Advised The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited, on the launch of its Banking-as-a-Service business, a collaboration between SBI Sumishin Net Bank and Rakuten Bank.
  • Advised MUFG Bank, Ltd., and its parent company, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., on their $200m investment in Silvrr Technology Co., Ltd. (Akulaku).

TMI Associates

The wide-ranging fintech practice at TMI Associates incorporates expertise from fields including finance, big data and M&A. Recent work has included advice on matters relating to blockchain technology, advice on the issuance of security tokens, and supporting banks in their API licence applications. Leadership duties are split between Takatsugu Kitajima, Arito Ogoshi, Makiko Yamamoto and Haruo Narimoto; Narimoto, who divides his time between Japan and Singapore, is an authority on crowdfunding issues in Japan. At associate level, Mitsune Shirasawa is well versed in advising on the regulatory side of online settlement services.

Practice head(s):

Haruo Narimoto; Makiko Yamamoto; Arito Ogoshi; Takatsugu Kitajima

Other key lawyers:

Mitsune Shirasawa

Key clients

Marubeni Corporation

FinTech Global Incorporated

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Mitsui & Co. Digital Asset Management Ltd.

Kenedix, Inc.

LIFULL Co., Ltd. and Securitize Japan K.K.

Hash DasH Co.,Ltd

Tosei Corporation

Japan Security Token Association


Asynmatrix Pte Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd. on the first private-placement STO targeting investment equities of private-placement REIT in Japan.
  • Advised on legal matters as a member of the Japanese Sake Token working group which has been established within the Digital Asset Co-Creation Consortium.
  • Advised Marubeni Corporation on the establishment of schemes and the merchantability of the public offering project of security tokens.