Tax: Independent local firms in Japan

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto‘s tax practice has a particular focus on tax planning, with additional expertise in advising on estate planning for high-net-worth individuals, the tax implications of mergers and acquisitions, and cross-border transactions. The team is jointly headed up by Atsushi Oishi, Makoto Sakai, and Hiroyuki Kurihara, who have significant experience in tax investigations, private wealth management, and tax planning for cross-border mergers and acquisitions, respectively. Clients are also offered tax advisory services by licensed tax accountants, as well as wealth management advice. Hiroshi Oyama is recommended for his work in tax planning and tax disputes.

Practice head(s):

Atsushi Oishi; Makoto Sakai; Hiroyuki Kurihara

Other key lawyers:

Hiroshi Oyama

Key clients

Ministry of Finance

Softbank Group Corp.

Johnson & Johnson

Baring Private Equity Asia


Shiseido Company

Astellas Pharma

Houlihan Lokey


Sumitomo Electric Industries

Appier Group

Randstad Holding

UACJ Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Shiseido Company Limited on a cross-border carve-out deal regarding its personal care manufacturing business.
  • Advised Integral Corporation on its acquisition and re-capitalisation of Oliver Corporation.
  • Advised Kamiyama Marugoto College of Design, Engineering and Entrepreneurship on the establishment of a donation scheme using a general incorporated association fund system.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu’s tax team is led by the pre-eminent Yushi Hegawa, who frequently advises clients on tax controversy issues and tax audits. The practice is adept at assisting with the full gamut of tax issues, with recent work including advice on the tax implications of both domestic and international transactions, as well as advice on the 2023 Tax Reform. Other key members of the team include Takashi Saida and Shigeki Minami, who focuses his work on transfer pricing matters. Koichiro Yoshimura is an important contact for tax planning work, while Tsutomu Endo is particularly experienced in taxes surrounding the digital economy.

Practice head(s):

Yushi Hegawa

Other key lawyers:

Takashi Saida; Shigeki Minami; Koichiro Yoshimura; Tsutomu Endo


‘NO&T tax team is excellent in their technical merits and provide through analyses of Japanese tax law. Their advice is very extensive and profoundly in-depth.’

‘Koichiro Yoshimura and Yushi Hegawa are distinguished lawyers from the Japanese tax perspective.’

‘I believe that Koichiro Yoshimura is an excellent partner in Japan for tax. There were no precedent court cases for our case, but Yoshimura-sensei prepared convincing arguments and had an excellent strategy for winning.’

‘NO&T is a model of excellence in strategic legal and tax consulting. Their unique and innovative solutions, coupled with their superior approach to legal risk management, were not only astute, but specifically tailored to protect our interests. As a firm, NO&T goes beyond the traditional client-lawyer relationship and acts more as a valued, integral part of our team.’

‘The standout star among NO&T’s exceptional roster is Yushi Hegawa. His in-depth knowledge of tax law and innovative problem-solving methodologies consistently deliver successful results. Hegawa’s distinctive approach – unwavering dedication, strategic foresight and creativity under pressure – truly sets him apart from his peers. ‘

Key clients

NGK Insulators

Nissan Motor Co.

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan

Work highlights

  • Represented NGK Insulators, Ltd. in tax litigation concerning the tax authority’s use of the residual profit-sharing method in connection with intercompany licensing.
  • Represented Nissan Motor Co. in tax litigation concerning Japan’s Controlled Foreign Corporation regime, successfully securing a decision at the appellate court cancelling the entirety of the tax assessment in favour of the client.
  • Assisted an international IT client in successfully securing an advance written ruling in favour of the client, confirming no permanent establishment will arise under Japanese tax law by registration under Japanese corporate law.

Nishimura & Asahi

The tax practice at Nishimura & Asahi is especially recommended for its experience in handling tax controversies before Japanese courts, as well as other forms of tax-related disputes, for which Akihiro Hironaka is a recommended individual. The team is led by the experienced Yo Ota, who regularly covers matters involving M&A, cross-border transactions, and corporate governance issues. For high-profile tax litigation, Tsuyoshi Ito is the recommended name, while Mayuko Nakamura regularly advises on the tax aspects of international transactions.

Practice head(s):

Yo Ota

Other key lawyers:

Akihiro Hironaka; Tsuyoshi Ito; Mayuko Nakamura

Work highlights

  • Representing Jinba TMK in a tax dispute, involving $16m in consumption tax, before the Tokyo District Court.
  • Successfully defended a client during a government audit in a dispute based on a statutory interpretation on consumption taxes.

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune

The tax department at Anderson Mori & Tomotsune is co-headed by Koji Fujita and Eiichiro Nakatani, who are both experienced in international taxation matters, and in particular, tax issues relating to cross-border transactions. The team frequently offers clients assistance in a variety of tax matters including tax litigation, international tax, individual tax issues, audits, and both inbound and outbound transactions. Other key names include Yutaka Shimoo, who was promoted to partner in January 2023, and Akira Tanaka.

Practice head(s):

Koji Fujita; Eiichiro Nakatani

Other key lawyers:

Yutaka Shimoo; Akira Tanaka

Key clients

Universal Music LLC

Japan Cryptoasset Business Association

Microsoft Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Universal Music LLC on tax litigation as its lead counsel.
  • Advised a charitable foundation on the tax litigation.
  • Advised an individual business operator on the tax litigation.

TMI Associates

TMI Associates‘ tax department is jointly led by Hidehiro Utsumi and Nobuaki Iwashina, who specialise in fund-related tax issues and international taxation matters, respectively. The practice also offers corporate clients advice on combined tax and corporate mandates, and handles audits, inheritance tax work, and the tax aspects of M&A. Private individuals are also assisted with cases involving the tax authorities.

Practice head(s):

Hidehiro Utsumi; Nobuaki Iwashina

Key clients

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Asset Management

Minimini Co.

Toyo Corporation

Work highlights

  • Provided tax and legal advice for the CEO of Toyo Corporation and his heirs and for the company on its corporate restructuring.

Atsumi & Sakai

The tax team at Atsumi & Sakai is especially experienced in advising clients on tax planning, auditing, and accounting work. Teruhisa Tomoya leads the tax and accounting department alongside Hisashi Miyatsuka and Takashi Tezuka, while fellow co-head Shinichiro Shimizu leads the special tax team. Clients are regularly advised on corporate tax matters, tax issues relating to organisational restructurings, securities transactions, and financial due diligence in cases of mergers and acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Teruhisa Toyama; Hisashi Miyatsuka; Takashi Tezuka; Shinichiro Shimizu

Yokogi & Masui Partners

Yokogi & Masui Partners‘ tax department regularly advises clients on taxes levied on import transactions, such as consumption tax and customs duties, with the experienced duo Yoichi Masui and Kai Isoyama jointly leading the practice. Working alongside them is Seisuke Imai, who was promoted to partner in April 2023 and specialises in tax litigation.

Practice head(s):

Yoichi Masui; Kai Isoyama

Other key lawyers:

Seisuke Imai


‘Yoichi Masui has deep experience and expertise in the area of import and export compliance. We can trust that his advice comes from both understanding of the law as well as experience in working with the customs officials and other relevant regulators.’

‘Each professional individual gives various opinions and appropriate advice as a team, which is useful for forming a mechanism for future goals.’

‘The main person who communicates with us is Yoichi Masui. Masui is very smart. He can sort out the complete link in his mind in a short time based on the client’s description. He has a unique communication method when dealing with tax and customs officials of the Japanese government, and has fully gained the trust of customs and tax agency staff.’