ABOUT US

OUR PEOPLE

Since our founding, OKABE & YAMAGUCHI has brought the best and brightest legal talent on board. Each and every member not only adds unique expertise and experience to our crew, but also is bilingual and ready to meet the challenges of our borderless world.

Photo / Shinya Ohira (Attorney's Magazine January 2015)

Hiroki Okabe born Fukuoka, Japan; admitted 1979, Japan

Education

Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Navigation Course, 1973 (formerly Tokyo Mercantile Marine Academy)

Member

Tokyo Bar Association; International Bar Association; Association of Average Adjusters of Japan

Registered

Maritime Counselor

Languages

Japanese and English

Hobby

Tennis, Skiing, Swimming

Introduction

Hiroki Okabe has been involved in most of the firm’s casualty work since the firm was founded, particularly collision, salvage, wreck removal, oil pollution, loss of lives and subsequent disputes by arbitration and litigation. He acts for P&I clubs, owners, underwriters and salvors regarding casualty as well as handling charterparty, cargo carriage disputes, etc.
He is listed on the Panel of TOMAC Arbitrators, and has handled as an arbitrator various shipping disputes including charterparty, shipbuilding, ship sale and purchase, bad bunkers and dangerous cargo.

Shuji Yamaguchi born Hyogo, Japan; admitted 1982, Japan

Education

Kyoto University, Law Dept., 1980

Member

Dai-ichi Tokyo Bar Association; International Bar Association; Japan Maritime Law Association; Association of Average Adjusters of Japan
A regular speaker in several international conferences, Inter Pacific Bar Association, International Union of Marine Insurance, Asian Maritime Law Conference, International Dispute Resolution Conference and Cargo Recovery Conference. The chair of the Maritime Law Committee of IPBA from 2009 to 2011. A Counselor of Commercial Code (Transport and Maritime Law) for Ministry of Justice.A member of Maritime Law Association, International Private Law Association, Aviation Law Association and The Average Adjuster Association of Japan. An Arbitrator of Tokyo Maritime Arbitration Commission and Japan Commercial Arbitration Association

Registered

Maritime Counselor

Languages

Japanese and English

Publication

“International Cargo Insurance” (Informa), “Maritime Law Handbook” (Kluwer), “Getting the Deal Through Shipping in 35 Jurisdictions”, “Getting the Deal Through Aviation Law”, “Judgment Commentary of Civil Code Vol.1 General Rules” (Seirin Shoin), “Commentary”(Maritime Law, Daiichi Hoki) , “New International Jurisdiction Law from Practical Points of View” (Shoji Homu), “ Rotterdam Rules in Asia Pacific Region” (Shoji Homu), “Handbook for International Multi-Modal Transport”(JIFFA), "Selected Judgements Useful to International Business Practice" (Yuhikaku), "Amendment of Japanese Commercial Code" (in Chinese), Chinese Journal of Maritime Law 2016,Vol.27(1)

Hobby

Tea Ceremony, Noh, Volleyball

Introduction

Shuji Yamaguchi was graduated from Kyoto University. After admission to the bar in 1982, he worked in Akagi Law Firm and Clyde & Co. UK. He joined OKABE & YAMAGUCHI in 1990. He handles cargo claims, charterparty disputes, aviation claims, domestic transport claims, maritime insurance claims, product liability cases, litigations, arbitrations and other maritime related cases.
In Legal 500, OKABE & YAMAGUCHI is described as one of the biggest shipping law firms in Japan and ranked in the top layer.

Teishi Aizawa born Miyagi, Japan; admitted 1990, Japan

Education

Waseda University, School of Political Science and Economics, 1974

Member

Tokyo Bar Association; International Bar Association

Registered

Maritime Counselor

Languages

Japanese and English

Hobby

Walking, Swimming, Karaoke

Takehiko Tozuka born Fukuoka, Japan; admitted 1991, Japan

Education

Kyoto University, Law Dept., 1989

Member

Tokyo Bar Association

Registered

Maritime Counselor

Languages

Japanese and English

Hobby

Celestial watching , Nature trailing, Jogging

Introduction

Takehiko Tozuka graduated from Kyoto University and entered into Fukuokaken Bar Association in 1991 and moved and joined to OKABE & YAMAGUCHI in 1993. He has a great experience about cargo practice including chemistry and physical dynamics matters which enlarged his practice area to a dispute of construction defects or product liability cases. He also has many practice of civil and maritime case litigation area which leads many judgments of the court handling by him are shown in legal research engines although most of the cases are settled before judgment.

Teruyuki Sago born Tokyo, Japan; admitted 2003, Japan.

Education

Sophia University, Law Dept., 1993

Member

Tokyo Bar Association

Registered

Maritime Counselor

Languages

Japanese and English

Hobby

Watching rugby games

Introduction

As the head of the shipping and emergency response team in OKABE & YAMAGUCHI, Teruyuki Sago brings expertise in a broad range of shipping, logistics, insurance, international trade and domestic disputes. Among his expertise, his practice is especially focused on casualty-related work in shipping such as ship collision, wreck removal, etc., and addressing any and all kinds of ex-post conflicts arising from casualties. He is a member of the Institute of Maritime Law of Waseda University in Japan and a visiting professor at Dalian Marine University in China. He is a prominent practician with a strong academic grounding.

Katsuya Tsuda born Tokyo, Japan; admitted 2007, Japan

Education

September 2011 – September 2012 / Swansea University, Master of Laws, LLM in International Maritime Law
April 2007 – September 2008 / Legal Training and Research Institute of the Supreme Court, Tokyo, Japan
March 1993 / Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan Bachelor of Arts in Economics

Member

Tokyo Bar Association

Registered

Maritime Counselor

Languages

Japanese and English

Hobby

Sports, Reading, Visit of Japanese temples and shrines, Appreciation of paintings

Introduction

Joined the Marine Insurance Department of an insurance company where he acquired an in-depth understanding of marine insurance practice after he graduation from the university. Attended LLM in International Maritime Law in Swansea University from September 2011 to September 2012 and subsequently interned at an English law firm and a Chinese law firm to acquire further legal and practical experience. Drawing on this rich experience, he handles a variety maritime affairs including charterparty, collision and casualty matters.

Yutaka Akatsuka born Tochigi, Japan; admitted 2009, Japan

Education

Keio University (LL.B., 2006), Keio University Law School (J.D., 2008)

Member

Dai-ni Tokyo Bar Association

Registered

Maritime Counselor

Languages

Japanese and English

Hobby

Golf, Cooking

Introduction

Before joining OKABE & YAMAGUCHI, Yutaka Akatsuka gained extensive global experience in his work for a Japanese international law firm. The scope of his expertise includes handling various criminal cases including marine accidents. Always seeking ways to hone his skills, he attended 6th Singapore Short Course of Southampton University Maritime Law in 2014. He also brings the advantage of a strong personal network of maritime lawyers and P&I clubs that he has built over his career. As an expert Kendo (Japanese Fencing) fencer of the 3rd grade, he meets every legal challenge in fields ranging from collision, cargo recovery and defense to ship arrest and release with his indomitable samurai spirit.

Shinichi Takano born Kumamoto, Japan; admitted 2010, Japan

Education

Waseda University (LL.B., 1999, M.A in law, 2003), Keio University Law School (J.D., 2009)

Member

Tokyo Bar Association; Member of Maritime Law Association and Aviation Law Association; Researcher of Institute of Maritime Law, Waseda University; Special Committee Member of Research Commission on the Judicial System of The Japan Federation of Bar Associations

Registered

Maritime Counselor

Languages

Japanese and English

Hobby

Traveling

Introduction

SHINICHI TAKANO’s undergraduate interest in the juridical aspects of international transactions led to graduate school study and research of private international and maritime law. His maritime litigation and arbitration matters have included prominent cases such as the “Cougar Ace” case (Tokyo District Court). Extensive experience outside the courtroom includes reporting on contracts for carriage of passengers in the conference of Maritime Law Association in 2014, and as a Special Committee Member of the Research Commission on the Judicial System of The Japan Federation of Bar Associations. At OKABE & YAMAGUCHI he focuses on cargo claims, charterparty disputes, aviation claims, domestic transport claims, maritime insurance claims, and other maritime matters in negotiation, litigation, and arbitration.

Takashi Hongo born Kagoshima, Japan; admitted 2013, Japan

Education

University of Tokyo (LL.B., 2004), University of Tokyo Law School (J.D., 2012)

Member

Tokyo Bar Association

Registered

Maritime Counselor

Languages

Japanese and English

Publication

“Academic Freedom and University Autonomy” (in Japanese), University of Tokyo Law Review, Vol.6
“Structural Analysis of Foreign Investment Regulation” (in Japanese), University of Tokyo Law Review, Vol.7

Hobby

Traveling (domestic/overseas), Watching Movies, Watching Sports, Tramping

Introduction

Prior to pursuing a legal career, Takashi Hongo worked for the government and as a business consultant. Reflecting his previous experience, he is able to enhance advice to clients with rare insights from his diverse public and private sector background. As a maritime lawyer, he has broadened his horizons in his extensive travels that have so far taken him to U.K., Spain, Brazil, South Africa, Singapore, Brunei, China and Taiwan.

CAPT. Masato Tanigawa born Oita, Japan

Education

Kagoshima University

Registered

Licensed master mariner, Maritime Counselor

Languages

Japanese and English

CAPT. Osamu Azuma born Shiga, Japan

Education

Faculty of Maritime Sciences, Kobe University.(formerly Kobe Merchant Marine University)

Registered

Licensed master mariner, Maritime Counselor

Languages

Japanese and English

Hobby

Fishing