Leading Individuals: Bengoshi

Next Generation Partners

Tax: International firms and joint ventures in Japan

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)

Baker McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)’s tax and transfer pricing practice is capable of providing both domestic and international clients with the full range of tax services, which includes cross-border tax planning assistance, contentious expertise, and advise on the tax aspects of transactional matters. Edwin Whatley and Ryutaro Oka jointly lead the team; Whatley specialises in US and Japanese tax issues, while Oka focuses on advising clients on cross-border M&A taxation as well as outbound work. For tax litigation, Hideyuki Yamamoto is a key name, while Shinichi Kobayashi and Yukiko Komori are recommended for their extensive experience in transfer pricing mandates. For other matters including tax audit support, tax effective profit repatriations and exit strategies, Akihiko Tsuda and Luke Tanner are names to note.

Practice head(s):

Edwin Whatley; Ryutaro Oka

Other key lawyers:

Hideyuki Yamamoto; Shinichi Kobayashi; Yukiko Komori; Akihiko Tsuda; Luke Tanner

Withers Japan, Zeirishi Houjin

The tax team at Withers Japan, Zeirishi Houjin is commended by clients for its ability to ‘provide practical advice‘, with co-head Eric Roose lauded for his ‘super technical skills‘ and ability to ‘explain complex things in a very easy to understand manner‘. Fellow co-head Kohei Kobayashi is an international tax adviser and licensed tax attorney, experienced in assisting clients with international estate taxation planning matters as well as the tax aspects of M&A transactions and restructurings. The practice is also recommended for its work advising high-net-worth individuals, private equity houses, and international corporations.

Practice head(s):

Eric Roose; Kohei Kobayashi


‘The Japan tax team of Withers is my go-to team for any Japan tax advice that our Chinese clients need. They always act very quickly and provide practical advice. Also, their main working language is English, which is a big advantage.’

‘My main contact is Eric Roose. In addition to his super technical skills, he has a very strong business sense and is an excellent communicator. He can explain complex things in a very easy to understand manner.’

Key clients

MPower Partners Fund

FLOW Digital Infrastructure

PAG Real Estate Property Fund III

Nuveen Alternative Living Fund

DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho

The tax team at DLA Piper Tokyo Partnership Gaikokuho Kyodojigyo Horitsu Jimusho is headed by of counsel Keitaro Uzawa, who is especially focused on international tax work, transfer pricing issues, and customs duties. The practice is able to advise international clients by virtue of its global network, with clients spanning the software, manufacturing, and insurance industries. Other work includes advising on the tax implications of corporate restructurings, handing due diligence issues relating to the Japanese tax authority, and acting in tax refund claims. Manato Yamamoto is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Keitaro Uzawa

Other key lawyers:

Manato Yamamoto

Jones Day

Jones Day’s tax team fields a full-service tax practice, with regular collaboration with other teams at the firm including the M&A, real estate and IP departments. Koichi Inoue, who leads the practice, is experienced in representing taxpayers in complex tax litigation, as well as advising on the tax aspects of restructurings and transactions. Working alongside him is of counsel Kyosuke Katahira, who is a key contact for international tax matters, such as cross-border transactions and transfer pricing issues. Fellow of counsel Taku Osawa is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Koichi Inoue

Other key lawyers:

Kyosuke Katahira; Taku Osawa


‘They provide solution-oriented legal and tax services analysing actual and potential risks and taking into account both details and overall business necessities in order to bring optimal results to the client.’

‘Our main contact is Koichi Inoue, who is a dedicated lawyer possessing strong international tax knowledge based on his understanding of corporate tax law. He also provides many ideas for tax planning based on in-depth knowledge and wide experience.’

‘Koichi Inoue is an expert in international taxation, tax treaties and tax litigation, and has a number of successful cases. Under Koichi Inoue, Kyosuke Katahira has expertise in international taxation and the second pillar, corporate taxation, while Taku Osawa has expertise in transfer pricing taxation.’

‘Koichi Inoue is well versed in Japanese tax law, particularly international taxation and tax treaties. Specifically, when dissolving an intermediary holding company last year, he immediately pointed out points to be aware of under tax treaties between Japan and certain countries and gave advice on how to prevent taxation risks.’

‘Jones Day are real professionals with deep knowledge in legal matters related with international taxation. They are very much reliable as their opinions are based on related laws and logically established.’

‘They are true professionals in legal matters. Mr. Koichi Inoue and Mr. Kyosuke Katahira are outstanding and men of character.’

PwC Legal Japan

PwC Legal Japan‘s tax department is headed up by Michito Kitamura, who is especially adept at wealth management and the tax aspects of ESG-driven transactions. The practice is also well-versed in tax disputes and tax audits, with further experience in providing transactional tax advice and handling issues involving Japanese tax authorities. Kozo Kuromatsu is a key contact in the practice for all stages of tax matters.

Practice head(s):

Michito Kitamura

Other key lawyers:

Kozo Kuromatsu