Firms To Watch: Investment funds: Independent local firms

City-Yuwa Partners, co-led by Haruyuki Hirata  and Yasuyuki Kuribayashi, advises a range of offshore investment managers and trustees, as well as domestic distributors.

Investment funds: Independent local firms in Japan

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

Known for its strong international connections, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune has a strong portfolio of investment fund and asset management work, including both domestic and foreign investment funds marketed within Japan. The team is co-led by Harume Nakano, whose areas of expertise include banking, securities, and asset management, and Kunihiko Morishita, who regularly advises both domestic and multinational financial institutions. Also key are Akihito Miyake, who specialises in the formation, offering, and distribution of funds, and Koichi Miyamoto, who handles financial regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Harume Nakano; Kunihiko Morishita

Other key lawyers:

Akihito Miyake; Osamu Adachi; Masayuki Hashimoto; Koichi Miyamoto


‘Japanese law advice, very tailored, efficient and of high quality for Luxembourg PE and VC funds willing to onboard Japanese investors.’

‘Akihito Miyake is the person to go to, his team also excels and understanding all the difficulties and issues in advance.’

‘Kunihiko Morishita continues to provide us exceptionally attentive service, with standout knowledge of our business model and aspirations. This attention to our business model and aspirations provides for efficient, relevant interactions that truly add value to our business.’

‘The AMT funds team is knowledgeable and responsive.’

‘The AMT team is professional, responsive, and understands their clients’ needs extremely well. The team are able to respond to queries and difficult situations quickly, and provide thorough and useful advice in short order.’

‘Koichi Miyamoto stands out for his excellent client management skills and technical expertise. He is a pleasure to work with.’

‘We often act as Cayman Islands counsel, alongside the investment funds team at Anderson Mori & Tomotsune. The team is in the top league in Japan when it comes to investments funds being structured for the Japanese market.’

‘The key individual we work with is Akihito Miyake who is technically excellent and always a pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

Janus Capital (Janus Henderson)

Nikko Asset Management

Credit Suisse

Global Funds Management S.A.


Nomura Alternative Investment Management


Nippon Investment Company

Capula Investment Management

DBJ Asset Management Co., Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted and advised Credit Suisse Management (Cayman) Limited on conducting initial public offering of three new foreign investment funds in Japan.
  • Advised Nomura Holdings, Inc. and SPARX Group Co., Ltd. on establishing an asset management firm, Nomura SPARX Investment, Inc, which then established a fund in a form of investment corporation, Japan Growth Capital Investment Corporation.
  • Assisted and advised PERINVEST (LUX) SICAV, an open-ended investment company with variable capital incorporated under the laws of Luxembourg, on launching and conducing initial public offering of a new sub-fund, CPS HARBOUR US EQUITY, in Japan.

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai has notable strength in advising foreign investors promoting funds to the Japanese market. The firm has experience in the full life cycle of investment funds, from initial structuring and managing relationships with regulators, to the investment period and exit mechanisms. Akio Kawamura co-leads the team alongside Eiichiro Hata and Ryuichi Nozaki. Kawamura, who joined from Nishimura & Asahi in September 2019, focuses on providing cross-border investments and advising on regulatory matters for financial institutions and fund managers. Meanwhile Hata handles fund structure, investment and formation, and Nozaki specialises in asset management, banking and structured finance, and capital markets.

Practice head(s):

Akio Kawamura; Ryuichi Nozaki; Eiichiro Hata

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is highly active advising on public offerings and private placements of investment funds, particularly in non-Japanese jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands, Ireland, and Luxembourg. Additionally, the department is known for advising new non-Japanese funds offered within Japan, who receive complete after care, including maintenance services. Yasuzo Takeno and Ken Miura jointly lead the team. Takeno has significant experience in structuring, public offerings, and private placement of off-shore investment funds, while Miura advises on a range of capital market transactions. Nobuharu Onishi is particularly active for international clients, and has a broad practice including asset management, financial regulation and investment companies.

Practice head(s):

Yasuzo Takeno; Ken Miura

Other key lawyers:

Nobuharu Onishi; Keita Nakano


‘Market leader for registration of foreign investment funds in Japan.’

‘Very knowledgeable and reactive.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on the public offering of a real estate investment trust (REIT) operated by the world’s largest real estate investor.
  • Advised on the public offering of AU$ class units of US Core Fixed Income Fund of Manulife Investment Trust.

Nishimura & Asahi

Nishimura & Asahi offers comprehensive legal services across the spectrum of investment fund issues, including documentation, compliance, product design and planning, as well as M&A and fundraising in both the investment and exit stages. The department has coverage of both traditional asset management activities and alternative investments, such as private equity funds, venture capital funds, and private-placement real estate funds. Makoto Igarashi has over 30 years’ experience representing investment managers with fundraising and investment, and co-leads the department alongside Kei Ito, who has expertise advising both domestic Japanese and overseas clients on the full range of funds. Also key are Yoshiharu Kawamata, who handles private equity, mezzanine, and infrastructure funds, and Kohei Ishida, who is highly experienced advising on international and domestic investment fundraising.

Practice head(s):

Makoto Igarashi; Kei Ito

Other key lawyers:

Yoshiharu Kawamata; Kohei Ishida

Key clients

Nomura Holdings, Inc.

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

MCP Partners Co., Ltd.

Longreach Group

Aspirant Group Inc.

Nomura Mezzanine Partners Co., Ltd.

Government Pension Investment Fund, Japan

Nippon Mirai Capital Co., Ltd.

Toyota Motor Corporation

AT Partners, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised AT Partners on the establishment of a venture fund, AT Partners 2 Fund.
  • Advised Nippon Mirai Capital on the establishment of NMC IV Investment Limited Partnership, a fund to strengthen the business foundations, and rebuild the business, of small and medium Japanese companies that have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advised Enechange on the establishment of Japan Energy Capital 2 Fund, a venture fund focusing on energy and also known as Decarbonised Tech Fund.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu covers a range of funds, including private equity funds, hedge funds, and investment trusts, but has particular strength in the real estate space, with experience handling JREITs and other private real estate funds. Hidetaka Mihara leads the department, and has expertise in financing and REITs. Keiko Shimizu is well known in the market for her expertise on both onshore and offshore investment fund products, and knowledge of complicated cross border projects.

Practice head(s):

Hidetaka Mihara

Other key lawyers:

Keiko Shimizu; Kensuke Suzuki


‘The most appealing point of the Investment Funds team of Nagashima Ohno is the deep knowledge, experiece of this area and high level communication skills of Ms. Keiko Shimizu.’

Key clients

Integral Corporation

T Capital Partners

Z Energy Co. Ltd.

Invesco Group


Activia Properties Inc.

Mitsui Fudosan Logistics Park Inc.

MCo Corporation

SevenSeas Advisors Co., Ltd.

TMI Associates

TMI Associates advises a broad range of funds, including buyout funds, distressed funds, corporate reconstruction funds, real estate funds and content funds. The department also has experience with venture capital funds, particularly for those investing into biotechnology and IT sectors. Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi leads the team, which includes Kiyomi Kikuchi, who covers banking and project finance, and Hidehiro Utsumi, who focuses on international investment funds. Sadao Maeda is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Yoshiyasu Yamaguchi

Other key lawyers:

Kiyomi Kikuchi; Hidehiro Utsumi; Sadao Maeda


‘TMI really understands our business and needs and always engages as the client first.’

‘Mr. Sadao Maeda is a stand-out partner in the TMI team. His communication with us is incredible.’

Key clients

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Asset Management

DBJ Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Nissay Asset Management Corporation

Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan (GPIF)

DNX Ventures

Inclusion Japan, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised DBJ Asset Management Co., Ltd. regarding the cross-border alternative investment project by one of the largest financial institution in Japan.
  • Advised an asset management firm regarding the transfer of accounts and the investment management functions from Nippon Life Insurance Company Japan and Taiju Life Insurance Company Limited.
  • Advised Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan on the launch of their first ever fund of funds to invest in alternative assets.

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners

Oh-Ebashi LPC & Partners advises both domestic and international clients on the full range of investment management services, including documentation, contractual negotiations, registrations with authorities and regulatory advice. Takuyuki Sakurai is key to the team, and has experience across fund management, venture capital, and structured finance.

Other key lawyers:

Takuyuki Sakurai

So & Sato Law Offices

So & Sato Law Offices supports a variety of funds throughout their life cycle, with areas of expertise including private equity, mezzanine, and hedge funds. Yuki Sato leads the department, and has experience advising foreign entities with their operations within Japan. Sato has particular expertise in venture capital, and has represented both issuers and investors in equity financing. Counsel Chiho Saito, who joined the firm from White & Case LLP - White & Case Law Offices (Registered Association)  in 2021, is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Yuki Sato

Other key lawyers:

Chiho Saito; Tomoko Fujita


‘Ms. Yuki Sato is experienced lawyer in investment fund business.’

‘So & Sato Law Office is one of most progressive law firm in WEB3 and other innovative area in the financial sector.’

Key clients

Academia Industry Alliance Capital

All Kochi Allaince Capital

Asahi Media Lab Ventures, Inc.

Dawn Capital No.1 Investment Limited Partnership

Emoote Pte. Ltd.

Fujiwara Capital Advisors Pte. Ltd.

GLIN Impact Capital Investment Limited Partnership

Idaten Ventures

Miyabi Ventures Co., Ltd.

MUFG Innovation Partners

Shochiku Ventures Fund

Social Innovation and Investment Foundation

Startup Debt Fund I Investment Limited Partnership


Toparz Regional Partners

UIG Asset Management Co.,Ltd.