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Japan: Corporate Tax 2016

Last year, the Japanese government enact the 2015 Tax Reform Bill with the aim of reducing the rate of corporate tax and lowering the annual rate of net operating loss deduction limitation. Coupled with this, the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit shifting initiative has seemingly taken a more central role in public and government consciousness over the past year or so. While the Japanese government’s own plan is broadly in line with the BEPS initiatives, 2016 will see the government continue with their proactive approach to bring tax law in Japan into line with the new world tax order. In this chapter, nine practitioners are selected.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu is home to the three fantastic lawyers. Atsushi Fujieda is renowned as “one of the country’s premier tax litigators” and has handled a wide variety of cases, including transfer pricing disputes at the district, high court and supreme court level. The “distinguished” Yuko Miyazaki is a seasoned veteran with over 30 years of experience advising clients on the tax-related issues involved in domestic and cross-border transactions, tax planning and structuring – including APA and MAP agreements and handling tax-related disputes. They are joined by the “assiduous” Shigeki Minami who is commended for his “significant expertise in the tax aspects of M&A transactions”. He is also described as a “confident and adept litigator” who has handled disputes before Japanese and foreign tax authorities and at the National Tax Tribunal, and all levels of the Japanese courts.

At Adachi Henderson Miyatake & Fujita, managing partner Toshio Miyatake is a “prominent figure in the market” with over 30 years of experience in international tax practices. His impressive practice handles the full array of tax matters, including planning, audits and litigation. According to one source, he is “particularly knowledgeable and adroit in transfer pricing disputes”.

Deloitte Tohmatsu Tax Co’s senior adviser Gary Thomas* is recognised as a “top-drawer practitioner” by a number of peers and clients. His “wonderful” practice focuses on international tax planning and tax disputes where, as a registered zeirishi, he has represented clients in the NTA and the National Tax Tribunal.

At Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, Koji Fujita is singled out for his “prestigious practice” focusing on tax planning and structuring, as well as tax matters involved in cross-border M&A transactions and tax disputes. According to clients, he is a “diligent practitioner” who “provides solutions-oriented advice”.

At Baker & McKenzie, head of the firm’s tax offering Edwin Whatley* is renowned for his “deep understanding of both US and Japanese tax law”. One respondent praised his “fine attention to detail” during corporate and international tax planning and structuring, while another noted his “ability to translate difficult analysis into understandable terms”.

Withers’ Eric Roose* heads the firm’s international corporate tax practice in Asia and is commended as one of the region’s go-to lawyers for structuring investments in the Asian market. According to one source, Roose is “an extremely proficient tax planner who really knows how to help clients get the best out of their tax structures”.

Japanese financial services consultancy Tokyo Kyodo Accounting Office is represented by managing partner Ryutaro Uchiyama who is “held in high esteem” for his international taxation practice. One source praised him for providing “wonderful attention to detail coupled with bespoke advice”.


* Foreign-qualified lawyer

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