Legal Eagle

Legal Eagle

Kenichi Yasuda helps overseas companies navigate Japanese labor law.

For those without the necessary background, the intricacies of the law might seem like an unsolvable riddle—even in one’s home country.

But for foreign companies trying to navigate legal matters in Japan, the challenge just may be too steep. That’s where support from a lawyer such as Kenichi Yasuda, who practices at Dojima Law Office, can pay dividends.

Yasuda, a native of Nara Prefecture, was raised in the Kansai region and earned his degree from Kyoto Uni­versity Law School. However, when he first began university, he didn’t have a keen interest in the law. As he explains though, once he started studying the subject, his natural curiosity was piqued.

“In the beginning, I became interested in the framework of law—in that there are rules, and you need to see how facts apply to those rules,” he says. “There are also the stages of negotiating. First, there is the interpre­ta­tion of laws or rules. Second, there is fact-finding—we need to examine the evidence or the arguments, and then reach decisions on the facts themselves. This frame­work became fascinating for me.”

After working as a lawyer for several years in Japan, he also had the oppor­tu­nity to study for a year at the New York University School of Law, during which time Yasuda passed the New York State Bar Exam. He also learned about the perspectives of US lawyers, as well as those of fellow students in the program, who were mostly from abroad.

After finishing his studies, Yasuda also worked in Beijing and Bangkok. In Beijing, he was with a Chinese law firm that handled cases for Japan-based companies in China. In Bangkok, he worked for a major Japanese trading company, serving as in-house counsel.

Yasuda focuses on labor law, particu­larly helping foreign companies that are operating here, and he now finds himself able to see legal matters from multiple angles. “It is very good for Japanese lawyers like me to study ways of thinking that are different from Japanese people,” he explains. “So, I can communicate with foreign citizen managers and other members of their team. And I can under­stand that their perspectives are different. Of course, I understand the Japanese point of view, so I can explain ideas to both sides.”

Yasuda works with a wide range of foreign companies in Japan, including those from the United States, Australia and China. These companies run the gamut of industries, from manufacturing and consumer goods to travel agencies and outsourcing companies. Many are also listed on the exchanges of their home countries.

Bringing together expertise in Japanese labor law and a deeply international mindset, Yasuda offers foreign companies an invaluable asset for doing business here.

September 2023