Next Generation Partners: Bengoshi

Rising Stars: Bengoshi

Firms To Watch: Fintech - Independent local firms

Ushijima & Partners are developing a strong offering in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, under the direction of Hiroyasu Kageshima.

Fintech - Independent local firms in Japan

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune provides comprehensive legal services in fintech matters, including those related to financial regulation, intellectual property rights, information security, and venture capital. The department is particularly strong on work with blockchain and digital assets, such as cryptocyrrencies, security tokens, and NFTs. The team is co-led by Ken Kawai, whose clients include financial institutions, fintech companies, and corporates; Kei Sasaki, who specialises in financing and transactional matters; and Kunihiko Morishita, who handles asset management issues. Also key are Shunsuke Aoki and Takeshi Nagase.

Practice head(s):

Ken Kawai; Kei Sasaki; Kunihiko Morishita

Other key lawyers:

Takeshi Nagase; Shunsuke Aoki


‘The team lead by Ken Kawai has strong expertise about Security Token issuing in Japan.’

‘They can provide practical advice to issuers and asset managers based on their deal experiences.’

‘They know not only legal practice but also real market and technology.’

‘Ken Kawai and Shusuke Aoki provide us practical advice very clearly and very quickly.’

Key clients

FTX Trading Limited

Monex Group, Inc. and its subsidiary Coincheck, Inc.

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation

Japan Security Token Offering Association

Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.

LINE Xenesis Corporation (formerly known as LVC Corporation)

Amber Global Limited

Osaka Prefectural Government

bitFlyer, Inc.

SBI Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised FTX Trading Ltd., one of the leading global cryptocurrency exchanges, on acquisition of Liquid Group Inc., which is a 100% parent company of Quoine Corporation, one of the Japanese regulated cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Advised Japan Exchange Group, Inc. (“JPX”), Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., and BOOSTRY Co., Ltd. on JPX’s first security tokens called “Digitally Tracked Green Bonds”.
  • Advised LINE Xenesis Corporation,a group company of the Japanese tech giant LINE Corporation, on its NFT comprehensive marketplace, “LINE NFT”.

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai, a ‘top leader in this area‘, supports a wide range of fintech industry groups and govenmental agencies active within the domestic market, with expertise across banking, securities, payment services, and data privacy. The department is also active assisting overseas fintech clients with their entry into Japan, assisting in consultations with governmental authorities and advising on the Regulatory Sandbox Scheme. Team lead Yuri Suzuki has over 20 years’ experience in the practice area, and has expertise in a wide range of financing matters, including syndicated loans, trade finance, and securitisation. Within the fintech space, Suzuki handles payments, wealth management, crowdfunding and crypto-assets. Takafumi Ochiai is another core team member, and is recognised for his expertise in blockchain technology.

Practice head(s):

Yuri Suzuki

Other key lawyers:

Takafumi Ochiai


‘Atsumi & Sakai has a number of great network as a top leader in this area.’

‘Yuri Suzuki’s advice is practical and she has never given us practically impossible advice. In addition, she can contribute to clients’ business through her networks.’

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)

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has considerable expertise across technology, financial services regulatory law and intellectual property, and brings this to a range of high profile domestic and international clients, including traditional players, disruptors, collaborators and start-ups. The team contains multiple practitioners with prior experience working within regulatory and governmental bodies and as such boasts strong relationships with and insights into these organisations. Co-leading the department are Masakazu Masujima, whose practice includes crypto-assets, crowdfunding and insurtech, Takane Hori, who handles data protection and cybersecurity, and Atsushi Okada, whose broad expertise includes payment services, cybersecurity and data protection. Kei Furuichi  has left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Masakazu Masujima; Takane Hori; Atsushi Okada

Other key lawyers:

Masafumi Masuda; Masayuki Ishibashi


‘There are three excellent law firms on crypto assets in Japan. They are one of them. They fully understand the business trends, discussed issues of law makers. Also, it has great connections all over the world.’

‘The practice is one of the premier firms and has broad reach and respect in Japan and outside of Japan. They have exceptional depth in capital markets and a strong base in general corporate.’

‘Masakazu Masujima – exceptional partner. Exceptional in general corporate and Fintech, and unusually strong in both the USA (Columbia Law, years working in NYC) and Japan as a leading figure in proposing and advising the government on new financial regulations and governance.’

‘The firm and Mr. Masafumi Masuda in particular has been very competent and diligent in their guidance for us, bringing a high level of expertise, including first hand experience from secondments working for relevant regulators.’

‘The firm’s client service, commercial awareness of the fintech, blockchain, NFT and crypto, space, and value for money is very good.’

‘Masayuki Ishibashi is a specific stand-out partner. I have great trust in him.’

‘Mori Hamada & Matsumoto has knowledge about blockchain, security tokens, NFTs, etc, not only from the viewpoint of financial legal affairs but also technology, and can obtain very advanced and professional advice.’

‘The company had a high level of expertise in fintech (especially in the field of digital securities), led by Attorney Ishibashi.’

Key clients

Hakuhodo DY Music & Pictures, Inc.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited

GMO Internet, Inc.



JustInCase, Inc.



TIS Inc.

MEDIA DO Co., Ltd.


Accenture Japan Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted Kanmu, in respect to its plans to launch Pool, a “credit card that can be used to build assets at hand”, and its design of an innovative combination of selling financial products and issuing credit cards.
  • Assisted Tosei Asset Advisors, Inc. as it utilized the GK-TK scheme, which is one of the most typical schemes of asset securitization in Japan, to securitize real estate.
  • Assisted DeCurret Inc. in respect to the development of its “Crypto Assets Business” and its “Digital Currency Business”, with the aim of “digitizing the role of all currencies and values and contributing to the creation of a prosperous society”.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu‘s fintech team draws experienced practitioners from a number of practice fields, including financial regulations, corporate, technology and antitrust. The department benefits from this flexibility in its work assisting clients with a broad range of matters, including blockchain techology, AI, Robotics Process Automation, and biometric authentication technology. Soichiro Fujiwara and Taku Umezawa co-lead the team, with Fujiwara bringing expertise in M&A and general corporate matters, while Umezawa handles financial regulations and compliance. Keiji Tonomura has a practice which covers M&A, intellectual property, and IT transactions.

Practice head(s):

Soichiro Fujiwara; Taku Umezawa

Other key lawyers:

Keiji Tonomura

Key clients

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.

Toyota Financial Services Corporation

Nishimura & Asahi

Nishimura & Asahi brings significant regulatory and financial experience to the fintech sector, advising banks, securities firms, financial institutions, and start-up ventures. The department covers a range of issues, including payment services, crypto-assets, and financial transactions, servicing both domestic and international clients. Department head Naoya Ariyoshi is particlarly active on crypto-assets, and has expertise in financial regulations. Susumu Tanizawa covers international financial regulations and financial transactions related to fintech. Also key within the team are Akihiro Shiba, who has expertise in security tokens, NFTs, and app-based stock trading, and newly promoted partner Toshiyuki Yamamoto, who advises on digital securities.

Practice head(s):

Naoya Ariyoshi

Key clients

Nomura Holdings, Inc.

Jasmy Inc.

Mitsui & Co. Digital Asset Management, Ltd.

KKR Japan Ltd.

Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.

Fundinno, Inc.

Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd.

Crowd Credit, Inc.

Rakuten Wallet, Inc.

Japan Financial Services Intermediary Business Association

Work highlights

  • Advised Nomura Holdings, Inc. on the establishment and management of the remote retail consulting company Onad Co., alongside several local Japanese banks.
  • Advised Jasmy Inc. on its listing of JASMY, a crypto-currency, on several domestic and foreign exchanges; our work included the provision of regulatory and transactional advice and preparing a legal opinion for submission to the exchanges.
  • Advised on a security token offering (STO) arranged by our client. The offering was backed by trust beneficial interests underlying a Japanese-style hotel (ryokan) located in Kusatsu, Gunma Prefecture.

TMI Associates

TMI Associates offers fintech clients a diverse collection of services, focused and directed by the professional service organisation, TMI FinTech desk. Crypto-assets are a particular area of focus for the department, with experience across cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other blockchain technologies. The team is co-led by Haruo Narimoto, who splits time between Singapore and Tokyo, alongside Makiko Yamamoto, Arito Ogoshi and Takatsugu Kitajima. Kaori Noguchi is also key.

Practice head(s):

Haruo Narimoto; Makiko Yamamoto; Arito Ogoshi; Takatsugu Kitajima

Other key lawyers:

Kaori Noguchi

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 Lt

Work highlights

  • Supported Hash DasH Co., Ltd in obtaining a license to deal security tokens and prepared and reviewed agreements and disclosure documents related to its first public offering project.
  • Advised Securitize Japan K.K., a major U.S. security token platform provider, on negotiations with a major Japanese securities company to execute a platform service agreement.
  • Advised PLAYNEW Inc., the owner of the soccer club “SHIBUYA CITY FC.”, on the first case in Japan for a non-professional soccer club to issue a Fan Token.

So & Sato Law Offices

Boutique law firm So & Sato Law Offices provide comprehensive support for crypto, web3 and other new techologies. Founding partner So Saito is well known in the market, and is viewed as a thought leader in the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and metaverse spaces.

Practice head(s):

So Saito

Other key lawyers:

Joerg Schmidt


‘Extremely in-depth knowledge of the blockchain space, both from a legal sense and a commercial sense.’

‘Very “user friendly” and practical, particularly for a Japanese law firm where legal culture is often to provide hypothetical or open-ended answers.’

‘Their fees are very reasonable compared to some of their larger firm peers.’

Key clients


ForN (YGG Japan)

Animoca Brands Co., Ltd.



Hakuhodo DY

double Inc.

Fuel Hash

Fracton Ventures, Inc.

DeFi Association

Japan Blockchain Association

Japan STO Association

Work highlights

  • Advised Hottolink to set up a web 3 fund (Good Kaisha- Tokumei Kumiai) scheme.
  • Advised ForN to set up YGG Japan, the first kind of blockchain game guild in Japan, with collaboration of YGG.
  • Issuance of NFT with cooperation of Japanese Professional Soccer League, J-League.