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Japanese Services

Japanese Services

Japanese companies investing in the U.S. turn to Barnes & Thornburg for assistance with legal and business matters, and have for decades. We represent numerous Japanese-owned companies and advise them on a full range of legal issues, and also advise parent companies in Japan on U.S. legal matters. Many of our lawyers are native Japanese speakers, and understand the unique business environment and requirements.

Our experienced lawyers help companies seeking to do business anywhere in the U.S. We advise on government incentive negotiations; general corporate law; mergers and acquisitions; real estate and site selection; intellectual property registration and enforcement; employment law; litigation; and visa and immigration issues.

While many of our clients are in the automotive industry, we also help companies in other manufacturing sectors, such as medical device, electronics and biotech. We also advise on legal aspects of mergers and acquisitions, including R&D, supply chain, and manufacturing capabilities. Our legal professionals work with foreign business owners to ensure their business ventures comply with state and federal regulations and on obtaining financing.

You will work with lawyers and professionals who are not only fluent in Japanese, but understand business practice both in the U.S. and in Japan. Our firm has a history of creating and maintaining dedicated relationships with overseas companies and decades of experience working with U.S. business leaders, economic development executives as well as county and city officials. 

Importantly, we are called on to help clients work with federal government agencies on obtaining approvals for foreign investment in the U.S. and on significant export and import matters. 

The Japanese Service Group is made up of a number of prominent individuals.


  • An executive committee member of the Japan-America Society of Indiana 
  • The honorary Consul of Japan 
  • An executive board member of TerraLex, an international network of 10,000 attorneys 
  • An executive vice President and a member of the program committee for the Japan America Society of Chicago 
  • The President of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Chicago

Our firm is uniquely positioned to offer quality services at a greater value, through a combination of sophisticated services and client attention. All with an eye on controlling legal costs. We have the ability to translate meetings, which protects privacy and keeps costs low. 

Business Solutions Across Borders

Japan has invested more than $480 billion in the United States economy since 1990 and Japanese-owned firms support 860,000 jobs in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of State. Our client matters often involve communication with parent companies and their subsidiaries in the U.S. We often work with attorneys in Japan and with parent companies’ legal counsel.  

When looking to build a plant or location in the U.S., Barnes & Thornburg realizes that a company’s legal needs begin long before ground is ever broken. We serve as the “advance team” – helping clients explore and secure economic incentives from state and local governments, procure essential real estate, and protect valuable trade secrets and patents.

Our Immigration and Global Mobility practice group also helps foreign-born executives and employees gain the necessary work visas to launch and work in U.S. operations.

We are proud that we have continued our partnership with those entities as they grow – providing support, advice, and business solutions on an ongoing basis.

For additional information, visit Barnes & Thornburg's Japanese website.

Practice Leaders

Peter Morse

Peter A. Morse, Jr.

Global Services - General Co-Chair, Global Services - Japan Co-Chair

Indianapolis, Washington, D.C.

P 317-231-7794

F 317-231-7433

Mari Yanamoto Regnier

Mari Yamamoto Regnier

Global Services - Japan Co-Chair


P 312-214-8335

F 312-759-5646

Chihiro Maeda

Chihiro Maeda

Of Counsel


P 312-214-2107

F 312-759-5646


Contact Us


  • Represented the distribution subsidiary of a global Japanese machine manufacturer in its ongoing acquisitions of a material handling dealer/distributor and of a U.S. manufacturer of high-capacity tire and pneumatic forklifts, container handlers and reach stackers serving 13 separate and distinct industries
  • Represented a Japanese chemical company in the sale of its U.S. battery manufacturing operations and established a joint venture with an international German corporation
  • Represented a Japanese company in its acquisition of the assets of the world's leading manufacturer of military grade video cameras, monitors, and digital video recorder
  • Represented a subsidiary of a publicly traded (Tokyo Exchange) Japanese auto parts maker, in consolidating and merging certain operations in the Mexico, Panama and U.S.
  • Represented a Japanese supplier of metalworking fluids in a global strategic partnership with one of the fastest-growing metalworking fluids businesses in North America; partnership allows the two companies to leverage their respective product lines, R&D, manufacturing, and supply chain capabilities to expand each company’s technology, products and services to the global metalworking and water treatment markets
  • Represented a large Japanese tier-one automotive company to establish a holding company and reorganize an entire subsidiary’s functions and loan structures
  • Represented two Japanese education and learning centers in New York City to establish new education operations across the United States

Government Services and Finance

  • Represented a Japanese automotive assembler in incentives negotiation, site acquisition, infrastructure development and other key matters in connection with the establishment of a U.S. motor vehicle facility
  • Assisted Japanese automotive joint venture partners with an investment that involved capital expenditures of $73 million and the employment of 195 associates, and in tandem secured $3.5 million in economic development and tax incentives from state and local authorities
  • Represented a Japanese automotive supplier in a $57 million investment in an incremental facility, which created over 100 new jobs and secured up to $1.1 million in conditional tax credits and training grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation
  • Represented Japanese manufacturer in establishing a manufacturing operation in Indiana, an investment of close to $5 million which helped secure diverse incentives, including abatements on building and equipment, off-site infrastructure improvements and training dollars, as well as 25 immediate new jobs with the potential for a total of 70
  • Represented a Japanese cathode material manufacturer for automotive ion lithium batteries in acquiring a $35 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to establish a new manufacturing plant in Battle Creek, Michigan
  • Represented the largest dialysis equipment manufacturer in the world, based in Japan, in obtaining the largest EDGE tax credit available under Illinois law; which resulted factor in the client locating its North American headquarters in northwestern Illinois instead of Wisconsin
  • Represented a Japanese manufacturer in establishing an operation in Kentucky, which created 50 new jobs and involved an investment of over $19 million; helped secure up to $500,000 in performance-based incentives through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, which permitted the company to keep a portion of its investment through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting agreement targets

Labor & Employment

  • Assisted a Japanese subsidiary in reaching a favorable, court-approved settlement in a putative collective action filed by nationally renowned class action specialists from three different firms in a case involving violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, specifically donning & doffing violations; with more than 4,000 potential class members, national implications and high-damage potential; after effectively staying discovery and establishing a tactical proactive communication plan with employees and potential class members


  • Represented a Japanese automobile parts manufacturer and its U.S. and Canadian subsidiaries in a global investigation of possible bid-rigging and price-fixing in the sale of auto parts to automobile manufacturers, ensuring avoidance of paying any fines; U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division, the Japan Fair Trade Commission, European Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau jointly conducted a thorough internal investigation of relevant employees in the United States and Japan, for more than two years, until the DOJ closed its investigation; the DOJ has obtained more than $2.4 billion in criminal fines as part of those investigations to date
  • Obtained not guilty verdicts for clients Tokai Kogyo Ltd., and its U.S. subsidiary, Green Tokai Co. Ltd., in a federal criminal jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, following indictment for allegedly conspiring to fix the prices of automotive body sealing products sold to Honda Motor Co. Ltd in the United States, facing potential fines in the hundreds of millions of dollars;. after a month-long jury trial featuring testimony from several Japanese witnesses from Nishikawa Rubber and Honda, jury returned its verdict after less than four hours of deliberation



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