Taft’s Japan practice is headed by Toshio Nakao, a partner in the firm's Business and Finance group. For over 25 years, attorneys in Taft’s Japan practice have represented more than 120 Japanese-affiliated companies in the Midwest, as well as in Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, New Jersey and California. We provide advice on establishment of new businesses, land purchase, obtaining tax incentives, construction contracts, immigration, employee handbooks, mergers, acquisitions, distributorship, agency, licensing, joint venture, labor and employment, product liability and corporate reorganization.
Since the U.S. legal system is substantially different from that of Japan, simply hiring an attorney who can speak Japanese is not sufficient to eliminate potential problems that can result from miscommunication or not understanding the perspective of a Japanese client doing business in the U.S. or an American client doing business with a Japanese company. In addition to speaking English and Japanese, attorneys and professional staff in our Japan practice also understand the concerns and key issue unique to Japanese companies. We also provide advice to American companies who are considering or doing business with Japanese companies. Since our Japan practice draws from the substantial experience of attorneys in other departments of the firm, it is fully equipped to handle virtually any legal issue that may arise.
Taft’s Japan practice also provides general consultation on matters related to day-to-day management of Japanese companies currently operating in the U.S., as well as labor and employment law issues such as common labor disputes, labor union issues, workers' compensation or discrimination claims.
Attorneys in the Japan practice also represent Japanese-affiliated companies in the increasing number of litigations and arbitrations involving matters of distributorship agreement, Title 7 discrimination, joint ventures, confidentiality, antitrust investigations by the Department of Justice and licensing. We also provide comprehensive immigration services — various non-immigrant visas and immigrant visas — to public companies, privately held corporations and individuals. In addition, we assist U.S. employees with obtaining non-immigrant visas to foreign countries, including Japan, Brazil, Thailand and China.
Yasushi Hasegawa, a paralegal, graduated from Keio University in Tokyo with an L.L.B. degree and worked for an international law firm specializing in intellectual property for five years. While he was primarily engaged in filing and maintaining domestic/international trademark applications, he also handled immigration, incorporation, various business licenses, maritime cargo claims and contracts. At Taft, he devotes himself to the Japanese clients’ immigration matters.
Sayuri Duff, a Japanese client coordinator, earned a B.A. degree in English Language from Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka. She was a professional translator for a large law firm in Osaka specializing in intellectual property, where she was engaged in the translation of official legal documents. She currently serves as Mr. Nakao’s primary assistant to provide extended services to Japanese clients.