“Now That I Ate the Sushi, Do We Have a Deal?”—The Lawyer as Negotiator in Japanese-U.S. Business Transactions

Walters, Robert J. | January 1, 1991

This article focuses on the role a lawyer may have in a transaction involving a Japanese client or party. It will encourage the attorney at early stages to look beyond the legal tasks to the underlying reasons for the transaction. In other words, it encourages the attorney to ask questions and obtain information that ordinarily may not be considered critical to the purely legal aspects of the transaction. The nihonjin generally will place greater emphasis on the development of the relationship. Thus, laying the groundwork and devoting sufficient attention to the “typical” or “expected” stages of a business negotiation will be important features of the lawyer-negotiator’s task.