Firm Profile > Nishimura & Asahi > Tokyo, Japan

Nishimura & Asahi
TOKYO 100-8124

Antitrust and competition: Independent local firms Tier 1

With a cross-border specialist practice, Nishimura & Asahi has particular expertise in merger control in the energy and steel-related sectors. The practice is known for handling merger filings in Japan, acting as local counsel for multijurisdictional and offshore M&A cases. Practice head Kozo Kawai focuses on anti-trust/competition matters and international trade affairs, as well as large-scale disputes and domestic and foreign regulatory investigations. Notable in his team is Kojiro Fujii, who led in acting for Airbnb in the defence of two challenges related to alleged unfair trade practices, while complying with the JFTC’s compulsory investigation requests.

Practice head(s):

Kozo Kawai

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Nippon Steel Corporation (formerly Nippon Steel Sumitomo Metal Corporation)

Toshiba Corporation


Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” LINE)

The Dow Chemical Company

Broadcom Corporation

Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.

Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.

Nachi-Fujikoshi Corporation

Pfizer Holdings K.K.

JXTG Holding Corporation

Mitsubishi UFG Bank

Google Japan G.K.

Amazon Japan G.K.

Tokyo Electric Power Company

Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd.

Banking and finance: Independent local firms Tier 1

Nishimura & Asahi assists banks and financial institutions with asset financing, acquisition financing, and corporate and syndicated loans. The firm’s asset finance practice advises Japanese leasing companies on a range of transactions, including aircraft and ship financing, container leasing transactions, and plant facilities leasing. The team is notable for advising the financier side as well as the borrower side, for domestic and international private equity funds. Masaru Ono leads the team with Katsu Sengoku, who has experience in asset finance, particularly in the aviation market. They can call on the expertise of Takashi Saito, who specialises in banking transactions, especially acquisition financing.

Practice head(s):

Masaru Ono; Katsu Sengoku

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

XTech Corporation

Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

Financial Products Group Co., Ltd./FPG Asset & Investment Management BV (FPG)

Integral Corporation

Capital markets: Independent local firms Tier 1

Covering a full range of capital-market transactions, Nishimura & Asahi's experience includes debt, equity, hybrid securities, and J-REITs. In the securitisation market, the firm advises arrangers, originators, and trustors. Finance expert Masaru Ono co-leads the team with Kohei Koikawa, who has particular experience in equity and debt transactions. He led in acting as Japanese counsel for Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance (MUL) in its global issuance and offering of USD bonds through a Rule 144A offering, the first Rule 144A offering by MUL.

Practice head(s):

Masaru Ono; Kohei Koikawa

Key clients

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc

Mercari Inc.

LINE Corporation

Money Forward Inc.

SEVEN & I Holdings

Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance

NIDEC Corporation

SBI Holdings, Inc.

Daiwa Securities Co. Ltd.

Corporate and M&A: Independent local firms Tier 1

Able to leverage its overseas offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, Dubai, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Vietnam, Nishimura & Asahi  is strong in international and domestic M&A transactions, providing clients with expertise in corporate laws and securities regulations. Asa Shinkawa and Yoshinobu Fujimoto lead the practice. Katsuyuki Yamaguchi has particular experience in advising on M&As and joint ventures. Also notable is Masaki Hosaka, who focuses on general corporate and M&A mandates. Koichi Kusano joined Japan’s Supreme Court in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Asa Shinkawa; Yoshinobu Fujimoto

Key clients

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd


MUFG Bank, Ltd.

Daishi Bank, Ltd.

Clarion Co., Ltd.

Nippon Steel Corporation

JXTG Holdings, Inc.; JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation


Dispute resolution: Independent local firms Tier 1

Specialising in arbitration, Nishimura & Asahi is increasingly active in international matters. The practice is led by Hiroyuki Tezuka, who has expertise in both court proceedings and international arbitration. Notable in his team is Yutaro Kawabata, who focuses on disputes arising out of the termination of contracts, particularly for clients in the automotive, pharma and electronic devices sectors. Further strengthening the team is the 2018 arrival of international arbitration expert Lars Markert from German firm Gleiss Lutz; Markert is qualified in Germany and New York, and admitted as a foreign registered lawyer in Japan.

Practice head(s):

Hiroyuki Tezuka

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Marubeni Corporation

Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd

Mochida Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Sojitz Corporation

Toshiba Corporation

Tokai Rika Co., Ltd.

AIG General Insurance Company, Ltd.

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Asahi Kasei Corporation

Intellectual property: Independent local firms Tier 1

Nishimura & Asahi is known for cross-border expertise in litigation, trademark and patent issues, acting for IT platforms, as well as telecoms and entertainment companies. The firm also has experience in the life sciences and pharma industries. Yoshiyuki Miyashita leads the practice and handles transactions and dispute settlements related to IP and IT. He can call on the expertise of Hitomi Iwase, who specialises in disputes and transactions involving trademarks, patents and IP across a range of sectors.

Practice head(s):

Yoshiyuki Miyashita

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Dentsu Inc.

The Asahi Shimbun Company

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation

PopSockets LLC

Investment funds: Independent local firms Tier 1

Nishimura & Asahi is known for representing large Japanese investors and investment managers in matters including documentation, compliance, product design, and planning. The firm advises on fundraising in the investment stage after fund formation, investment in funds by institutional investors, as well as issues related to REITs and commodity funds. Kei Ito has experience in a range of investment funds, from retail products, investment trusts and ETFs to PE funds, buyout funds, infrastructure funds, and hedge funds. He co-leads the practice with Makoto Igarashi, who specialises in advising investment managers on fundraising and investment. Also notable in the team is Yoshiharu Kawamata, who focuses on international and domestic investment fundraisings.

Practice head(s):

Makoto Igarashi; Kei Ito

Other key lawyers:

Key clients


Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

Nomura Holdings, Inc.

Mizuho Capital Partners Co., Ltd.

Angel Bridge

Labour and employment: Independent local firms Tier 1

Specialising in corporate law and finance, Nishimura & Asahi is experienced in advising enterprises on daily personnel and labour issues, as well as the structuring of compliance systems. The firm also has expertise in employment and labour-related litigation, particularly cases with international and cross-border elements. The practice is active in the increasingly prominent cross-over between technologies and labour law; Yuri Sugano handles labour issues relating to HR-tech and AI. She co-leads the team and specialises in advice on the Japanese government’s “work-style reform” programme. Fellow co-head Jiro Abe has experience in a range of matters including restructuring, post-merger integration, union negotiations and labor disputes. Michihiro Mori left the firm in 2019 for Ai-Ei Law Office.

Practice head(s):

Yuri Sugano; Jiro Abe

Key clients

BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd.

Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation

Mercedes-Benz Japan Co., Ltd.

Tomy Company, Ltd.

Tsukada Global Holdings, Inc.

Tokyo Academy Group

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd.

AOKI Holdings, Inc.

Projects and energy: Independent local firms Tier 1

Focused on international transactions, Nishimura & Asahi has particular experience in liquefied natural gas projects, renewable energy, and advising on US and EU sanctions issues. The practice also advises on mining, refinery, IPP, and infrastructure projects for sponsors and lenders. The international team works from multiple locations, including Bangkok, Dubai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Singapore, and Yangon, to provide advice to Japanese clients investing overseas. Maya Ito acts on energy, natural resources, and infrastructure projects, for Japanese and international banks and trading houses, as well as specialising in Indian infrastructure projects. Also notable in the team is renewable energy projects expert Norio Maeda, who has extensive experience in inbound cross-border financing transactions for the Japanese operations of multinational corporations. In 2019 the firm promoted to partner Sadayuki Matsudaira, Jun Katsube, and Nathan Schmidt. Hiroshi Maeda left the firm for Atsumi & Sakai in 2018. Former practice head Mark Tudor has moved to BW Offshore.

Key clients

Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company Limited

JX Mining & Metals Corporation

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Grasshopper Solar Corporation

Showa Denko K.K.

Tohoku Electric Power Co., Ltd.

Sermsang Power Corp PLC

Nippon Steel Sumikin Metal Corporation (NSSMC)

BW Offshore Ltd.

Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC)

Restructuring and insolvency: Independent local firms Tier 1

Nishimura & Asahi has a range of experience in the area. Notably in matters related to antitrust and finance. The firm is strong in traditional insolvency work, particularly representations of debtors, but also handles restructuring and insolvency transactions involving out-of-court workouts and turnarounds. The practice is co-led by counsel Hideki Matsushima, who is known for insolvency expertise and Kenichi Minami, who specialises in out-of-court workouts and turnarounds, as well as the more traditional insolvency proceedings. Michihiro Mori left for AI-EI Law Office in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Hideki Matsushima; Kenichi Minami

Key clients

Toshiba Corporation

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.

Toyota Motor Corporation

Sharp Corporation

Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

AvanStrate Inc.

The Carlyle Group

Japan’s Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation

Showa Denko K.K.

Risk management and investigations: Independent local firms Tier 1

The crisis management practice at Nishimura & Asahi has particular experience in domestic and international antitrust and cartel related matters. The firm also has expertise in bribery and civil cases, as well as cross-border issues. Hiroshi Kimeda is known for corporate crisis management and litigation, notably in corporate scandal cases. He leads a team that includes Kaku Hirao, who is experienced in foreign investigations and regulatory authorities cases; and Kei Umebayashi, who formerly worked at the Special Investigative Section of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office and provides expertise in criminal investigations.

Tax: Independent local firms Tier 1

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:

Key clients

Shionogi & Co., Ltd.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Real estate and construction: Independent local firms Tier 2

Known for cross-border mandates, Nishimura & Asahi has particular experience in real estate structured financing, notably in the securitisation market. The firm also has expertise in development projects in the hotels sector, as well as acting in dispute resolution for contractors. Yoshihiko Kawakami specialises in Japanese real estate finance, working predominantly in the areas of real estate, structured finance, and international finance. He co-leads the team with Shintaro Uno, who focuses on international construction and infrastructure projects in Asia, providing significant experience in construction and infrastructure projects including highways, coal-mining facilities, Mass Rapid Transit, high-rise buildings, and power plants.

Practice head(s):

Yoshihiko Kawakami; Shintaro Uno

Key clients

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., Ltd.

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation

ORIX Corporation

Shimizu Corporation

Kajima Corporation

Obayashi Corporation

Penta-Ocean Construction Co. Ltd.

TOA Corporation

Japan’s Largest International Law Firm:
Nishimura & Asahi is Japan’s largest law firm, covering all aspects of domestic and international business and corporate activity. We have over 600 Japanese and foreign lawyers — employing more than 700 support staff, including tax accountants, patent attorneys, senior Japanese and foreign business support professionals, and paralegals.

The Highest Global Standards:
Many attorneys and staff at our firm speak other foreign languages and have advanced international law degrees and bar admissions — with experience working at top global law firms. We have also established strong professional relationships with the most eminent law firms worldwide, enabling us to focus on international corporate and financial transactions, advising both Japanese and foreign clients to the highest international standards.

Cutting-Edge Business Issues:
We work with the most prominent Japanese and global corporations, to find novel solutions for their industries’ most innovative changes and disruptive challenges.

Commitment To Excellence:
Through the enhancement of professional and organisational synergies — a result of our expansion — an unprecedented level of client service is made possible in highly specialised and complex areas of commercial law. We understand our clients’ growing needs and our fully integrated team of lawyers and professional staff is proud to share the same fundamental philosophy: An uncompromising commitment to excellence.

Our International Presence:
With the continued expansion of our international presence and clientele, we have four domestic and 11 overseas offices. Through our domestic and global networks, we are ideally placed to provide our clients with a borderless one-stop service, from Japan to the world.

Number of partners: 166, Number of lawyers: 650


Otemon Tower, 1-1-2 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8124, Japan
Tel: +81-3-6250-6200

JR Central Towers 41F, 1-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 450-6041, Japan
Tel: +81-52-533-2590

Umeda Hankyu Building Office Tower 35F, 8-1 Kakudacho, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0017, Japan
Tel: +81-6-6366-3013

Denki Building Kyosokan 9F, 2-1-82 Watanabe-dori, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0004, Japan
Tel: +81-92-717-7300

Nishimura & Asahi (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Unit 1607/1, 16th Floor, Athenee Tower, 63 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66-2-168-8228

SCL Nishimura
Rajanakarn Building, 20th Floor 3 South Sathorn Road, Yannawa, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Tel: +66-2-676-6667-8

Unit 08, 4th floor, Office Tower 2, China Central Place, 79 Jianguo Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100025, People’s Republic of China

38F PARK PLACE, 1601 Nanjing West Road, Jingan District, Shanghai 200040
People’s Republic of China
Tel: +86-21-6171-3748

Afridi & Angell Legal Consultants Japan Desk (N&A)
Unit 406, Index Tower, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971-4-386-3456

Nishimura & Asahi (Vietnam) Law Firm
Suite 607, 63 Ly Thai To Building, 63 Ly Thai To Street, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: 84-24-3946-0870

Branch Office of Nishimura & Asahi (Vietnam) Law Firm in Ho Chi Minh City
Room 1102, 11th Floor, Sun Wah Tower, 115 Nguyen Hue, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tel: +84-28-3821-4432

Walalangi & Partners
Pacific Century Place, 19th floor, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman Kav 52-53, SCBD Lot 10, Senayan, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan, DKI Jakarta 12190, Indonesia
Tel: +62-21-5080-8600

Rosetini & Partners Law Firm
Office 8, 18th floor, SCBD Lot 28, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53, Jakarta 12190, Indonesia
Tel: +62-21-2933-3617

Nishimura & Asahi NY LLP
1251 Avenue of the Americas, 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10020
Tel: +1-212-830-1600

Nishimura & Asahi (Singapore) LLP
50 Collyer Quay, #08-08 OUE Bayfront, Singapore 049321
Tel: +65-6922-7670

Nishimura & Asahi Myanmar Limited
#310, 3rd Floor, Prime Hill Business Square, No.60 Shwe Dagon Pagoda Road, Dagon Township, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: +95-1-8382632

Okada Law Firm
Room 1403A, 14/F, New World Tower I, 16-18 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2336-8586

Taipei Opening in Spring 2020

*1 Associate office *2 Affiliate office

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner Masaki Hosaka +81-3-6250-6200
English (fluent)
Chinese (Mandarin)