GDR 100 2023

Nishimura & Asahi

Nishimura & Asahi

Professional notice

Other senior lawyers4
Associates and senior associates15
Who’s Who Legal: Data nominees0
Percentage of lawyers in Who’s Who Legal: Data0%
Key clientsJapan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Personal Information Protection Commission, Toyota and Internet Initiative Japan

With one of the larger data protection practices in the Japanese legal market, Nishimura & Asahi has developed an impressive slate of public and private-sector clients. As one of the largest law firms in Japan, the data protection team can call upon a roster of experienced lawyers in areas such as litigation and M&A, making the firm versatile in its approach and capabilities.

The market for data and privacy based legal services in Japan has recently seen big changes, with a new amendment to Japan’s data protection framework in April 2022. During this tumultuous time, Nishimura & Asahi has proved a reliable and consistent choice for Japanese and international companies looking to update their compliance protocols in light of the changes.


Yuko Kawai, Hitomi Iwase and Yujin Suga co-lead the firm’s data privacy practice group. Kawai brings extensive experience across multiple areas of law, including M&A. Iwase specialises in IT and data privacy, advising clients on complex legal and ethical issues regarding use of customer data and AI. Suga rounds out the Tokyo team with extensive international experience, having advised clients across Asia, the US and Europe in his time working in London, Brussels and Paris. He is qualified in Japan, France and New York.

Further bolstering the firm’s international presence is Noriya Ishikawa, who also serves as co-representative at the firm’s Frankfurt and Düsseldorf offices. He is frequently tapped to lead government research projects in Japan.

Work highlights

Though much of its work is confidential, the firm has represented some of the most high-profile companies in Japan and undertaken extensive projects in the public sector. Iwase, Ishikawa and Kawai produced a comprehensive survey and report on the legal systems for data protection in 31 jurisdictions for Japan’s Personal Information Protection Commission. The 380-page report ultimately informed the execution of the new amendments to Japan’s data privacy laws.

Iwase helped a US-based software company in its online data collection practices. The firm advised the company on Japanese market standards and enforcement risk assessments for cookie-related banners and consent policies. She is also guiding a major trading company in its plans to launch an AI-based platform that collects various trade data.

This year, partner Ishikawa joined the privacy and governance advisory board at Toyota, counselling the company in the data and privacy aspects of new projects and company-wide internal policies. Ishikawa took on further work throughout the Japanese automotive industry, advising on licensing concerns regarding data generated by dashboard cameras.

Client references

“Agile and reliable.”

“We have used firms across the world for international data protection matters, but Nishimura & Asahi’s quality is the best.”

“They provide us with reasonable and flexible solutions based on their wide practice experience.”

About Nishimura & Asahi

We are Japan’s largest full-service international law firm with more than 800 professionals around the world. The diversity and depth of expertise offered by our world-class lawyers is difficult to match. Since 1966, we have been providing our clients with comprehensive solutions through exceptional knowledge and expertise.

An advanced data protection practice in Japan

Nishimura & Asahi provides global clients with practical solutions to comply with Japanese data protection laws, most notably the Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI). We provide full-service assistance with a customized team of specialists for each data protection matter, including sector specific matters, M&A transactions requiring due diligence from a data protection perspective, dispute resolution, and data breaches.

Diverse experience in Southeast Asia

We have a strong practice in data protection and privacy matters in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. With extensive knowledge and experience in this field, our locally qualified lawyers offer seamless assistance to our clients on multinational projects.

Global Compliance

We regularly assist our clients in establishing compliance systems under data protection laws, from reviewing privacy notices and policies of our multinational clients to advising on multi-jurisdictional data transfer agreements and vendor management.


Nishimura & Asahi has advised clients on a number of large-scale data breach cases in which a single cyberattack impacted personal data in multiple jurisdictions. Our rapid response to these cases include the filing of required data breach notifications with authorities in each of the impacted jurisdictions.

Truly global reach

As experts in international business law, Nishimura & Asahi has created a global network that spans Asia, Europe, the Americas, and beyond.

Our expanding network of offices provides a full suite of cross-border legal services that caters to a wide range of business activities and requirements. We have a particularly strong presence in Southeast Asia with highly experienced and locally qualified lawyers.

We have 18 offices across the world, including Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, Dubai, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta*1, New York, Singapore, Taipei, Yangon and Hong Kong*2, and domestic offices in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka.

1 Associate Office
2 Affiliate Office

Our global data team

Hitomi Iwase
Partner | Tokyo
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Noriya Ishikawa
Partner | Frankfurt / Düsseldorf
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Yujin Suga
Partner | Tokyo
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Yuko Kawai
Partner | Tokyo
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Pavinee Bunyamissara
Partner | Bangkok
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Chanakarn Boonyasith
Partner | Bangkok
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Ikang Dharyanto
Partner | Singapore
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Melissa Tan
Alliance Office Director | Singapore
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