The Malaysian government adopted the Look East Policy (LEP) in 1982, aiming at social and economic development in Malaysia through learning from Japan. Since 2015, Japan has been the fourth largest trading partner of Malaysia. Trade value in 2021 amounted to USD35.9 billion (about RM157.21 billion). Japan is also the third largest investor in Malaysia in terms of projects in the manufacturing sector. Investment value from 1980 to 2021 was USD27.6 billion with 2,709 projects in the manufacturing sector implemented. In 2021, USD1.81 billion of investment was recorded, involving 25 approved projects in manufacturing.

Our dedicated Japan Desk team consists of lawyers, drawn from our various practice groups, with experience and knowledge to provide our clients with sound solutions and cater to their needs. Over the years, our lawyers have assisted a wide range of clients on investment projects, land matters and cross-border transactions.

Japan Desk Experience

A brief description of some of the transactions that we have been involved in are as follows:

Joint Ventures

Our firm has advised Japan’s Mitsui & Co., Ltd on its joint venture with Sime Darby Property Berhad to develop built-to-suit industrial facilities at the Bandar Bukit Raja integrated township in Klang, Selangor, with a gross development value of RM530 million as well as its joint venture with Nusajaya Tech Park Sdn Bhd (a joint venture between Ascendas and UEM Sunrise Berhad) to develop built-to-suit warehouses and factories for lease in Nusajaya Tech Park located in Iskandar Malaysia. We have also advised Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd., a Japanese electric and electronics equipment company, from a Malaysian law perspective on the joint venture exercise (in relation to the combination of assets and operations) with Superior Essex Inc., a US company, who is the largest global manufacturer of magnet wire with manufacturing and distribution facilities worldwide.

Energy & Infrastructure

Our firm has advised on the proposed business integration of oil & gas business between TonenGeneral group and JX Nippon group involving, a joint venture agreement with Malaysia LNG Tiga Sdn Bhd pertaining to oil blocks in Sarawak, Malaysia. We are also regularly engaged by Japanese conglomerates in relation to projects, energy and infrastructure matters whereby we have, inter alia, advised a Japanese conglomerates in its bid for the Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore’s request for proposal to appoint licensed electricity importers of low-carbon energy into Singapore and have also advised a large Japanese zaibatsu/business conglomerate in its proposed acquisition of interests in production sharing contracts relating to oil fields located offshore in Sabah and Sarawak.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Our firm has advised a diversified trading, investment and service company headquartered in Japan in its proposed investments in and development of healthcare related facilities in Malaysia.

Our Japan Desk Team