Tax: Independent local firms in Japan

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune handles the full range of tax-related matters, including complex inbound and outbound cross-border transactions; corporate reorganisations; international taxation; private equity, investment funds and sovereign wealth funds; individual tax; and municipal taxes customs and duties. The practice is also experienced in negotiating with the tax authorities. Koji Fujita specialises in tax work, in particular, corporate tax and planning. He leads the team with Eiichiro Nakatani, who focuses on international taxation and tax treaties.

Practice head(s):

Koji Fujita; Eiichiro Nakatani

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto focuses on tax planning for corporate and individual clients, as well as having experience in tax disputes. The firm is particularly strong in tax planning related to M&A, corporate reorganisations and cross-border transactions. In addition, the practice has expertise in wealth management, assisting high-net-worth individuals with estate planning. Litigation experience includes handling high-profile tax disputes between taxpayers and tax authorities in Japan and advising taxpayers at the initial stage of tax investigations. The practice also provides a Tax Advisory Service, staffed by lawyers, tax accountants, and certified public accountants. Atsushi Oishi acts in a range of tax-related cases, including tax investigations and filing appeals against tax authorities. He leads a team that includes Makoto Sakai, who is known for tax advice on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions and corporate reorganisations. Also notable is Hiroyuki Kurihara, who was promoted to partner in 2019 and has expertise in tax planning for cross-border M&As and complex tax disputes.

Practice head(s):

Atsushi Oishi

Other key lawyers:

Hiroyuki Kurihara; Makato Sakai

Key clients

Ministry of Finance

Hitachi, Ltd.

Crocs, Inc.

UACJ Corporation

Softbank Corporation

Randstad Holding nv

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

GCA Savvian Corporation

Astellas Pharma Inc.

Baring Private Equity Asia

Johnson & Johnson

Work highlights

  • Assisted in the successful Acquisition of Ci:z Holdings Co., Ltd. by Johnson and Johnson. Inc.
  • Assisted in the acquistion of Fujitsu Component by Longreach Group.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

The ‘knowledgeable and professional’ tax practice at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu is known for acting in high-profile tax litigation matters. The group contains dedicated tax lawyers, including practice head Atsushi Fujieda and the ‘trustworthy and experiencedYushi Hegawa. The team also boasts a former director-general of the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau as a full-time special counsel, Mamoru Toba, and the highly regarded Japanese tax law expert Hiroshi Kaneko as an advisor.

Practice head(s):

Atsushi Fujieda

Testimonials

‘Excellent communication’

‘Answers each question in depth and in a timely manner’

‘Makes excellent practical suggestions when difficulties arise’

‘The most reliable tax law firm in Japan’

‘Yushi Hegawa is outstanding in terms of the accuracy of his advice and creativity for approaching unseen issues’

‘Yushi Hegawa is a technical and swiftly responding tax practitioner who knows his stuff on Japanese taxation’

Key clients

Johnson Controls

Autoliv

UBS Securities

Mitsubishi Corporation

Veoneer Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted for Japanese holding company of major Hawaiian premier hotels in corporate tax litigation at Tokyo High Court
  • Transactional Tax Advice on Spin-off of Veoneer from Autoliv.
  • Joint venture with SMTB, a Japanese major trust bank.
  • Acted for Mitsubishi Corporation in bail-out investment in Chiyoda Corporation
  • Acted for one of worldwide digital services and e-commerce platformers in a claim of withholding tax refund.

Nishimura & Asahi

Specialising in tax disputes, Nishimura & Asahi’s multidisciplinary team also provides experience in corporate restructuring, international tax cases, consumption tax, and cryptocurrency advice. Tax litigation expert Yo Ota leads the team that includes Kazuhiro Takei, who is known for cross-border and M&A-related tax issues. In a recent highlight, the practice is representing major Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co in a tax dispute before the Tokyo District Court; the matter involves an in-kind contribution of a partnership interest.

Practice head(s):

Yo Ota

Other key lawyers:

Kazuhiro Takei

Key clients

Shionogi & Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • The Japanese tax authority issued withholding tax assessments against our client, alleging that our client was required to collect withholding taxes on interest paid to non-resident bondholders. The firm is currently representing Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank in this tax dispute matter before the Tokyo District Court.
  • Takeda’s acquisition of Shire plc was the largest-ever foreign takeover by a Japanese company. The firm advised Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. on this cross-border M&A transaction, by providing tax analysis and advice from a Japanese tax viewpoint regarding financing agreements, post-merger integration transactions and registration taxes.

Atsumi & Sakai

Atsumi & Sakai covers transactional tax advice and disputes, advising on compliance and individual deals, as well as complex tax havens and other cross-border tax matters. Certified public accountant Teruhisa Toyama leads the team and his areas of expertise include, tax law, general corporate law, securities litigation, corporate disclosure policies, risk management, and compliance.

Practice head(s):

Teruhisa Toyama

TMI Associates

TMI Associates is experienced in fund-related mandates and cross-border advice. Notable members of the team are Hidehiro Utsumi, who is known for corporate and tax expertise, and Nobuaki Iwashina, who is a certified public tax accountant and specialises in corporate income tax and international tax matters.

Other key lawyers:

Nobuaki Iwashina; Hidehiro Utsumi