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Tax: International firms and joint ventures in Japan

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise) offers a comprehensive tax practice, providing the full range of domestic and international tax planning and structuring for multi-national clients with operations in Japan, and Japanese clients seeking tax advice on foreign jurisdictions. Led by Edwin Whatley, the firm advises on matters such as transfer pricing, audit representation and appeals, M&A planning/restructuring, project finance, estate planning, and real estate transactions. Ryutaro Oka has significant experience in the finance, energy, and manufacturing industries and advises on complex international tax issues. Shinichi Kobayashi is also a name of note, focusing on M&A and transfer pricing issues.

Practice head(s):

Edwin Whatley

Other key lawyers:

Ryutaro Oka


‘The Tax Team impressed me on their creativity (think outside the box) when approaching unknown areas of tax.’

‘Mr Ryutaro Oka has exhibited high professionalism, deep and comprehensive knowledge in the relevant tax law, and strong and timely research ability throughout the project that I have worked with him.’

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho’s tax offering enters a new era under the leadership of Yoko Koga, who has joined as the new tax director. The firm’s practice is supported by Keitaro Uzawa, a structuring, advisory, and disputes expert. Uzawa regularly advises on cross-border matters for Japanese companies and joint ventures in relation to international and domestic tax.

Practice head(s):

Yoko Koga

Other key lawyers:

Keitaro Uzawa

Jones Day

The tax team at Jones Day works in close collaboration with the firm’s other teams such as M&A, IP, real estate, and finance teams. The team is led by of counsel Koichi Inoue who has extensive experience handling the tax implications of transactions and restructurings, and regularly advises both corporates and individuals in high-stakes tax litigation and audits. Also of note within the team is Taku Osawa, an international tax dispute and transfer pricing expert. Kyosuke Katahira supports the practice with broad international tax expertise relating to corporate, M&A and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Koichi Inoue

Other key lawyers:

Taku Osawa; Kyosuke Katahira


‘The firm provides the global supports based on the close relationship with the overseas offices, and further give us helpful comments and follow-ups without any time and language differences.’

‘Deep knowledge & experience regarding intra-group contracts to avoid any tax litigations.’

Withers Japan, Zeirishi Houjin

Withers Japan, Zeirishi Houjin’s Tokyo tax offering is led by the firm’s wider Asia international corporate lead Eric N. Roose. The practice advises domestic and international, private or public businesses on tax efficient strategies across many areas including investment funds, M&A, and compliance. The team works closely in tandem with the Hong Kong and Singapore offices. Key team members include Takeo Mizutani, who adds cross-border estate planning expertise, and Kenichi Takashima, a senior tax counsel with international tax advisory, planning, and structuring experience.

Practice head(s):

Eric N. Roose

Key clients

Pacific Alliance Group

PwC Legal Japan

PwC Legal Japan joins the rankings this year with its tax practice being connected to its restructuring, investigations, disputes, and litigation practices. The practice is led by Michito Kitamura , who has extensive experience in tax disputes regarding entity classification for foreign entities, and the tax treatment of debt-equity swaps.

Practice head(s):

Michito Kitamura