Labor/ Employment
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Labor/ Employment

I have expertise in employment and labor law and provide high quality legal services backed by a high standard of professional knowledge and broad experience. I acquire and retain front-line knowledge of employment and labor law and the latest court precedents, not only from publicly available information, but also through activities as a member of Tokyo Bar Association, Labor Law Special Committee, including study sessions among committee members and closed sessions with judges. Therefore, my advice always reflects the latest developments in legal amendments, administrative notifications, judicial precedents, academic theory, and industry trends. Further, I am bilingual in Japanese and English and experienced in providing professional advice to non-Japanese clients and individuals in English for more than 25 years. I provide written advice and opinion in English, draft contracts, work rules, policies, and other employment related documents in English, and provide translation services. For my citation, please refer to my professional summary.

Corporate Clients

I advise both local and foreign clients in Japan on all labor and employment issues ranging from recruitment and hiring, discipline and performance management, to retirement and termination. I have been providing service to various types of clients from global companies to sole proprietorships in various industries, including banking and finance, manufacturing and distribution, knowledge and education, and computer and telecommunication. I have also experienced in providing service to embassies.

I assist clients with human resources management and employment issues based on my in-depth knowledge of legal issues and wealth of practical experience. I do not provide a black-and-white type of advice, rather do provide more practical and commercial advice that reflects the unique situation of each and every client. I advise on, among others, employment contracts, work rules, wage system and work hours management system. Among other things, I appropriately guide clients in handling overtime payment issues which are very uniquely regulated under Japanese law. I also suggest risks and solutions in hiring, contract workers, temporary staff and individual contractors, which are strictly regulated under Japanese law. I may prepare a bilingual form of contracts, work rules, policies, and other employment related documents.

I assist clients in handling a poor performer, problem employee and sick employee. I may advise on implementation of a performance improvement plan, disciplinary action and leave of absence for sickness/injury. Also, I may advise on handling of harassment claim and on termination of an employee, to avoid a legal action such as litigation and labor collective bargaining.

I provide practical advice on redundancy or restructuring, transfer of business, corporate spin off, and even liquidation. I assist clients in planning and implementing an early retirement program with suggesting some strategic approach such as combination of an early retirement program and reduction in pay, reassignment, secondment arrangement and/or any other alternative method, and advise them on process for dismissal of employees, if it is unavoidable. I also provide practical advice on employment management in merger and acquisition. From the initial planning stage, I carefully consider what labor issues may arise so that my clients are aware of unexpected problems in advance. I design employment transfer schemes that minimize the risk of labor disputes, and integrate labor conditions, along with advice on communications and other measures which are often overlooked following a restructuring. I provide services for the post-restructuring phase which includes harmonization of labor conditions, personnel redeployment, and the more complex headcount streamlining process.

I also represent companies in dispute settlement, negotiation, litigation, labor tribunal and collective bargaining regarding dismissal, non-competition, demotion, reduction in pay, overtime payment etc. I also represent and advise companies in dealing with regulatory offices such as the Labor Standards Inspection Office and the Labor Bureau regarding non-compliance with Labor Standards Act, Worker Dispatch Act etc.

Individual Clients

I help employees who suffer dismissal, reduction in pay, demotion, non-payment of overtime, harassment, etc. Among other things, I support non-Japanese nationals working in Japan who need advice and support in English. Unfortunately, in Japan, most labor specialists who speak English would belong to international law firms and represent only companies/employers, and accordingly non-Japanese nationals would likely be forced to engage either a labor law expertized lawyer who can not speak English or a lawyer who can speak English but is not specialized in labor law. I, as a labor specialist, provide professional employment advice to non-Japanese nationals in English, review English documents, negotiate with their employers in English.