| Global Business Law (GBL) | Other Specialties | Business Law Student Exchange Program | GBL subjects

Students can earn a Master of Law degree by completing the following minimum requirements:

Thesis Seminar (Zemi)  8 Credits 
Business Law Sogo Mondai  2 Credits 
Electives  20 Credits 


Global Business Law (GBL)

Students with sufficient English skill who are interested in developing themselves as international legal professionals can, in the course of their Masters studies, earn a Certificate in Global Business Law. The Certificate’s requirements are:

  • Thesis Seminar in English
  • Legal Research & Writing (Business Law Sogo Mondai) in English
  • At least eight elective credits in Global Business Law subjects taught in English (to maximize the impact of the degree, students are strongly encouraged to take as many courses as possible in English)
  • Research paper written in English 
    • Equivalent to a thesis and similarly supervised, albeit permitting alternative styles and formats
    • Successfully defended in English before a faculty committee

This concentration was designed in response to the growing need in Japan for internationally-minded business law professionals who can work effectively in English as well as to make Japanese business law and practice more accessible to non-Japanese legal professionals working in Japan. The program caters to working adults who intend to continue to work at a job in Tokyo while studying in English in our program at night.

(Download bilingual brochure here.)

The Global Business Law Program is not suitable for those who have only recently completed a law degree and have not yet gained practical work experience.


Other Specialties

The Business Law Department also offers other Masters degrees as well as a PhD. Students can choose to specialize in a specific aspect of business law, such as corporate, intellectual property, financial, tax, or labor law. Particularly popular is the concentration in Intellectual Property Law that results in the award of a Certificate similar to that in Global Business Law.

The PhD is available to a limited number of excellent students each year and requires development and completion of a substantial dissertation, under the close supervision of a faculty thesis advisor. Currently PhD dissertations in languages other than Japanese cannot be accepted.


Business Law Student Exchange Program

This student exchange program provides a limited number of non-Japanese law students from exchange partner law schools in Australia, Germany, Singapore and the U.S. with an opportunity to study Japanese and international business law in English during the Fall semester. 

(Download Brochure here.)



The following subjects are offered in the Global Business Law program.

Comparative Corporate Governance
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): TBA

This course will examine systems of corporate governance from a comparative perspective. In considering the allocation of responsibility among corporate actors, we will focus on the following: (i) internal corporate mechanisms, particularly the function and duties of directors, (ii) outside market pressures, including institutional investors and the market for corporate control, and (iii) the role of non-shareholder stakeholders. Our study will include U.S., U.K., Japanese and German governance models as well as an examination of governance in selected transitional economies. 


Comparative Labor/Employment Law
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): Beyer/Nakakubo 

This course examines the fundamentals of employment law, comparing primarily Japan and the U.S., with other jurisdictions informing the comparison from time to time.  Beginning with an overview of the employment systems of Japan and the U.S., the course goes on to make specific comparisons of a number of aspects of labor and employment law. 


International Contract Drafting
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): Kilner

This course helps prepare students to deal effectively with English language contracts, under both U.S. and U.K. law. The course is intended to be a practical, rather than theoretical survey, and actual contract provisions will be studied and practiced.


International Contract Negotiation
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): TBA

This course is intended to provide practical experience in drafting and negotiating agreements in the international business setting. While there will be some coursework covering the theory of negotiation and the technologies and practices of drafting and revising, the heart of the course is for each student to negotiate the terms of a technology arrangement on behalf of a client and reflect the terms negotiated in a written agreement.


International Dispute Resolution 
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): Greer/Nomura

This course will focus on selected topics in dispute resolution involving Japan and Asia, including the interpretation and drafting of contract provisions, dispute resolution procedures both within and outside Japan, and negotiation, litigation, and international commercial arbitration as means of resolving disputes.  There will be a focus on real world case studies involving dispute resolution between Japanese and non-Japanese parties. 


International Entertainment Law 
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): Rosen

This course will focus on the application of legal matters, such as contracts, torts, copyright and trademark, to the entertainment industry.  A central concern of the course will be separating the artistic entity from the legal entity. The course will compare practices in the United States with those of the Japan and other countries and consider whether a “global standard” exists in the world-wide entertainment market. 


International Mergers and Acquisitions
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): Murdock/Yukevich

This course introduces students to key legal aspects of mergers and acquisitions transactions between Japanese companies and foreign companies.  We will look mainly at cross-border acquisitions of non-listed targets by Japanese companies (outbound), with some coverage of sales of or divestitures by Japanese companies to foreign buyers (inbound), and acquisitions of publicly-listed foreign companies.  The course will have a practical orientation, with focus on how deals are actually negotiated and closed, and difficult issues resolved.


International Privacy and Cybersecurity Law
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): Chafee

This course will provide students with an overview of privacy law and data protection principles, how nations interpret these principles, and the practical application of comparative privacy and data protection law in modern business. Students will develop an understanding of privacy law through examination of laws of Asian, European and North American nations, and gain an appreciation of how global privacy law and data protection continues to evolve. 


Introduction to American Business Law 
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): Rosen

This course will provide both a general introduction to the American legal system and an introduction to U.S. business law.  An American-style law school casebook will be used for the entire course. 


Introduction to Japanese Business Law
Credits: 2 
Instructor(s): TBA

To help equip students for transnational work involving Japan, this course will introduce the Japanese legal system, specific areas of law relating to business in Japan, and contemporary business issues.


Legal Aspects of IP Strategy
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): Sagara et al.

This course is designed to provide students a better understanding of the legal aspects of intellectual property (IP) in an international context. The course covers major issues and case studies in IP fields including patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and licensing. The course will also include a comparative law aspect. The entire course, to be conducted in English, is intended to be a practical, rather than theoretical survey.


Legal English
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): MacDermid

The aim of this course is to assist non-native English speakers in developing a confident understanding of legal concepts and terms in English and in communicating about law effectively in both written and spoken English. This course is intended to be practical and will address real challenges faced by non-native English speakers.


Legal Practice in Japan 
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): TBA

This course will introduce students to legal practice and the legal profession in Japan, examining various aspects of legal education and the structure of the profession. The course includes field trips to a number of legal institutions in Tokyo. This course is required for exchange students who wish to undertake an internship at a law firm or corporation during the exchange semester.


Legal Profession in Japan
Credits: 1 
Instructor(s): TBA

This course will introduce Masters students whose undergraduate education was not in Japan to legal practice and the legal profession in Japan, examining various aspects of legal education and the structure of the profession. The course includes field trips to a number of legal institutions in Tokyo. 


Securities Law
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): Martin

This course will provide an overview of securities law in Japan.  It will examine the Financial Instruments Exchange Act and other laws and regulations to cover topics including the structure of the Japanese securities market, regulation of public offerings, public companies, investment companies and the securities business, as well as issues related to liability and enforcement for violations of securities laws. 


Special Topics: Current Issues in Financial Regulation
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): Higuchi

This course will introduce and examine the latest legal issues relating to cross-border financial regulations. We will discuss how these issues affect economic markets and how the law has evolved to adapt to new legal landscapes. We will be covering a diverse set of issues; from topics like cryptocurrency regulation and insider training, to the extraterritorial application of securities law. 


Special Topics: Start-up Law and Practice – The Silicon Valley Model
Credits: 2  
Instructor(s): Sasaki

The so called “Silicon Valley Model” has become the global standard start-up model. This course will provide students with an overview of the principles of the Silicon Valley Model, the laws on which it is based, and the practice of those laws. We will discuss specific issues relevant to start-ups, such as allocation of founders possessive stock, convertible debt and equity financings, venture capital financing, and exit transactions. We will also examine how the legal issues faced by startups are different than those of more mature businesses. 


Directed Research
Credits: 2
Instructor(s): HBL Faculty

A student who wishes to conduct research in English on a topic of Japanese or Asian law that is not covered by existing English course offerings may do so upon securing the agreement of an ICS faculty member to act as adviser to such independent research. In such case the student, in consultation with the faculty adviser, shall create a reading list on the topic and shall produce a written report to be submitted to the faculty adviser for evaluation and grading.