Masaru Tohyama

Partner, Member of Daini Tokyo Bar Association

Masaru Tohyama is a partner of our firm. He was admitted to the Japanese Bar in 2007.
Mr. Tohyama provides sophisticated legal services to a diverse range of domestic and international corporate clients in mergers and acquisitions, structured finance and securities transactions. He frequently advises listed companies and large entities on corporate governance issues including ESG requirements and sustainability reporting.
Mr. Tohyama also has deep and extensive experience in labor dispute resolution procedures as well as civil litigation, and was the Deputy Chair of the Dispute Coordinating Committee and the Chief Conciliator for Disputes Involving Equal Opportunity and Treatment of Dispatched Workers at Tokyo Labor Bureau.
Recognized for his expertise in international transactions, Mr. Tohyama has been appointed by Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) as a legal expert to assist small and medium-sized enterprises in developing international business since 2017. He is experienced in defending individuals and companies against allegations related to white collar crime and assisting clients during the investigation phase of potential criminal cases.
In practice of public interest, Mr. Tohyama serves as a Domestic Relations Conciliation Commissioner at Tokyo Family Court and as a member of the Board of Examiners administering the National Examination of Dispute Resolution Practice for Labor and Social Security Attorneys.
Prior to joining our firm, Mr. Tohyama was a partner for nine and a half years at another Tokyo-based law firm specializing in corporate practice. Prior to his admission to the bar, Mr. Tohyama was a Director of Capital Markets and Financing at Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Co. Before Merrill Lynch, he worked at NTT DoCoMo, Inc. as a manager of international M&As and investments. Mr. Tohyama started his career at The Bank of Tokyo Ltd. and then The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Ltd., and had extensive experience as a banker in international project, acquisition, trade and corporate finance as well as financial derivative products. At Duke Law School, Mr. Tohyama was a Special Staff Editor of Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law.

Education and Professional Background

The University of Tokyo, Faculty of Law (LL.B., 1988)
University of Pennsylvania Law School (LL.M., 1992)
Duke University School of Law (LL.M., 1993)
Waseda University Graduate School (LL.M., 1998)
Waseda University Law School (J.D., 2006)
Judicial Research and Training Institute (2007)
Manager/Associate, The Bank of Tokyo, Ltd. / The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Ltd, (1988-2002)
Manager of International Investment, International Business, NTT Docomo, Inc. (2000-2002)
Director, Capital Markets & Financing, Merryll Lynch Japan Securities Co. Ltd. (2002-2003)
Partner/Counsel, Kashiwagi Sogo Law Offices (2007-2022)

Practice Areas

M&A, Employment and Human Capital, Corporate Governance, Sustainability and ESG Reporting, Financial Disclosure and Securities Transactions, Privacy and Personal Information & Data Protection, International Transactions, Economic Security and Export Control, Civil and Commercial Litigation, Industrial Relations and Labor Dispute Resolution, ADR, White Collar Criminal Defense

Membership and Official Positions

Deputy Chair/Member, Tokyo Dispute Coordinating Committee (2013-2023)
Chief Conciliation Commissioner for Disputes Involving Equal Opportunity and Treatment of Dispatched Workers, Tokyo Labor Bureau (2020-2023)
Deputy Chief Conciliation Commissioner for Disputes Involving Abuses and Harassments at Workplace, Tokyo Labor Bureau (2020-2023)
Domestic Relations Conciliation Commissioner, Tokyo Family Court (2016-)
Member of the Board of Examiners for the National Examination of Dispute Resolution Practice, Japan Federation of Labor and Social Security Attorney’s Associations (2018-)
Legal Expert on International Transactions, Consortium for New Export Nation Program, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) (2017-)
Arbitrator/Conciliator, The Arbitration Center of Daini Tokyo Bar Association (2022-)
Chairperson, Labor Law Committee, Daini Tokyo Bar Association (2023-)


co-editor and author, “Handbook for Labor Dispute Resolution” (Roudou Kaihatsu Kenkyukai, 2023)
co-editor and author, “Workplace Reform Act and Other Key Amendments” (Roudou Kaihatsu Kenkyukai, 2020)
co-author, “2018 Labor Case Handbook” (Roudou Kaihatsu Kenkyukai, 2018)
co-author, “Worker Dispatch Act – 2015 Amendments and Implications in Practice” (Daini Tokyo Bar Association, 2016)
co-author, “Labor Case Handbook” (Daini Tokyo Bar Association, 2015)
co-author, “2012 Amendments of Labor Contract Act, Elderly Employment Stabilization Act and Worker Dispatch Act – Impacts on Legal Practice” (Daini Tokyo Bar Association 2013)
co-author, “New Guidebook of Legal Counseling on Labor” (Daini Tokyo Bar Association, 2012)
co-author, “Children in Poverty” (Akashi Shoten, 2011)
co-author, “Labor and Poverty” (Federation of Kanto Bar Associations, 2010)
co-author, “Norms and Corporate Law” (Quarterly Journal of Corporate and Legal Creation 9 (Dec. 2006))


Speaker, the 19th Annual Conference on Labor Litigation between Tokyo District Court and three Bar Associations in Tokyo (2021) (reported in 5 Labor Cases 1259 (Apr.15, 2022))
Lecturer on Privacy Law and Legal Protection of Personal Data, a client seminar (2021)
Speaker, the 18th Annual Conference on Labor Litigation between Tokyo District Court and three Bar Associations in Tokyo (2020)
Speaker, the 17th Annual Conference on Labor Litigation between Tokyo District Court and three Bar Associations in Tokyo (2019) (reported in 5 Labor Cases 1217 (Apr.15, 2020))
Lecturer on Human Resources Management of Part-Time and Temporary Workers, a client seminar (2014)
Lecturer on Lawyering for Prevention of Suicidal Deaths, a seminar for lawyers held by Daini Tokyo Bar Association (2013)
Lecturer on Employment Disputes involving Part Time and Temporary Workers, a seminar for lawyers held by Daini Tokyo Bar Association (2012)
Moderator, Symposium on Labor and Poverty, Federation of Kanto Bar Associations (2010)


In a rapidly changing world, we lawyers must continue to adapt and evolve in order to respond to new and diverse legal needs of clients. At the same time, there are universal core values in our profession such as social justice, equality and human rights, which we shall never give up trying to preserve and protect. There comes our credo – Liberty, Innovation and Contribution.

Our lawyers are personally committed to those values, individually driven but also great teammates and fun to work with. I am proud of their achievements and look forward to contributing myself as a member of the Waseda Legal Commons community to the betterment of the society by way of serving our clients.


Japanese, English