Photo, Mina Arai-Ito

Mina Arai-Ito

Of Counsel
Baker & McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)


Mina Arai-Ito handles a broad range of corporate and commercial transactions for both inbound and outbound investments. She also advises on compliance, governance, and international trade law matters. As a former partner at the Tokyo office of Baker McKenzie, she has a wide experience as project manager on behalf of multinational clients in major M&A transactions and other cross-border projects. Mina Arai-Ito is currently the head of the Firm's Middle East & Africa Focus Group in Tokyo, having returned to Tokyo after spending three years at Baker McKenzie's Cairo office. She also spent significant time in Brussels, Taiwan and Washington D.C. Having practiced law in many jurisdictions around the world, Ms. Arai-Ito is truly an international lawyer with in-depth knowledge and experience in managing cross-border projects and handling difficult negotiations.

Practice Focus

Mina Arai-Ito provides corporate, commercial, and compliance advice for non-Japanese clients wishing to invest in Japan and wishing to expand into other regions in Asia. She also assists Japanese clients wishing to invest or having operations in emerging countries.

In both cases, Ms. Arai-Ito focuses on:

(1) M&A, corporate reorganization, litigation/dispute resolution, general corporate issues;

(2) Advising on risk management, developing compliance programs, and handling investigations; and

(3) Setting up regional headquarters, management of overseas subsidiaries, and conducting world-wide multi-jurisdictional researches.

Ms. Arai-Ito, with exceptional management skills, leads a team of lawyers and experts and handles a broad range of needs of a client in their global business strategies, operations and expansion plans.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Japan Egypt Business Council - Committee Member
  • Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Japan - Legal Counsel
  • Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Istanbul, Turkey - Legal Counsel

Ms. Arai-Ito has handled the following representative cases and matters:

  • Represented the United States government and assisted Mickey Kantor, then US Trade Representative, in strategizing trade negotiations.
  • Advised the Egyptian government on its national public infrastructure project.
  • Assisted in the Taiwan High Speed Rail BOT Project.
  • Assisted in setting up, acquiring, and reorganizing companies and branches in Japan and in advising on business strategies, day-to-day management, and governance of these operations.
  • Advised on entry and business expansion strategies in the Middle East and Africa, while ensuring compliance, such as distributorships, acquisitions, joint ventures, and establishing manufacturing plants.
  • Conducted various pre-investment compliance due diligence and risk analysis in emerging countries.
  • Advised on sanctions risks in countries like Iran and Sudan.
  • Advised on multijurisdictional global reorganizations/ restructuring of worldwide operations in more than 20 countries including South American and CIS countries.
  • Setting up regional headquarters by reorganizing/ restructuring existing subsidiaries and distributors in Asia and in the Middle East.
  • Conducted world-wide multijurisdictional researches, on issues such as employment, sanctions, anti-trust, and other compliance regulations.
  • Negotiated and advised on litigations, arbitrations and dispute resolutions such as termination/ dissolution of joint ventures and distributorship.
  • Advised on acquisition of hospitals, local medical and insurance systems, compliance and litigations for Japanese and non-Japanese medical corporations, pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies and trading houses.
  • Handled product recalls, litigations and pre-investment compliance due diligence and assisted in establishing compliance programs for Japanese and non-Japanese automakers.

Ms. Arai-Ito also assists medium to small sized companies for outbound foreign investments and established aid programs including government subsidies.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • New Jersey Bar Association
  • Tokyo Bar Association
  • Research Committee on Intellectual Property Rights in Africa (appointed by the Japan Patent Office) - Committee Member
  • University of Tsukuba, Graduate School of Business Sciences - Lecturer


  • Japan (Attorney at Foreign Law)~Japan (2011)
  • District of Columbia~United States (1999)
  • New Jersey~United States (1997)


  • College of Europe (Post Graduate EU Law) (2006)
  • American University, Washington College of Law (J.D.) (1996)


  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • English
  • Japanese

Previous Offices

  • Cairo
  • Taipei


Co-author, "Part I, Section 4 Middle East Business and the Law," International Business Law - 2nd Edition, LexisNexis Japan, July 2015


Co-author, "Exporting Japanese medical service packages to emerging countries: Overview of regulations for establishing and operating medical institutions in the Asia Pacific region," Baker McKenzie, March 2013


Speaker, "Competition law in Middle East: Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan" hosted by Fair Trade Association, November 2015

Speaker, "A legal seminar on investments in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the UAE" hosted by Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME), March 2015

Moderator, "South Africa - Japan Innovation Business Forum" hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Japan and South African Chamber of Commerce in Japan, November 2014.

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