A Statutory Analysis of the Right of U.S. Lawyers to Practice in Japan

This note argues that the JFBA’s position is legally untenable. There is no legal bar to the establishment of firms by U.S. attorneys unlicensed to practice in Japan, provided they restrict their activities to advising non-Japanese companies on foreign and international law. Two central issues shape this debate: (1) the extent of the bengoshi monopoly conferred by the Lawyer Law; and (2) the scope of Japan’s obligation to the United States under the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation (FCN Treaty) concluded in 1953.