Distinctively licensed to practice in the United States and her native Japan, Aki Tanaka focuses her practice on international employment and labor law, and is a member of Littler’s APAC team.

Aki understands the laws, language and culture in both countries, and her bilingual abilities bring clarity to workplace uncertainties for Japanese and U.S. employers. Her guidance, document reviews and communication can be conducted in English or Japanese, which conveys precision and efficiency to the counseling process. 

Based on her unique knowledge and experience in U.S. common law jurisdiction and Japanese civil law jurisdiction, Aki also advises U.S.-based, or Asia-based companies on their outbound international labor and employment laws across the globe as well.

Among Aki’s successful engagements for clients are these:

  • Assisting clients to properly engage workforce in Japan for their market entry to Japan including helping them develop proper employment documents and obtain visa
  • Counseling clients on terminations, restructuring, market exit, and unpaid overtime issues in Japan
  • Assisting Japanese clients in the U.S. with discrimination litigation or mediations especially with high level executives as well as providing daily consultation on U.S. employment laws
  • Providing anti-harassment training in Japanese or English, both in Japan and the U.S.

Before joining Littler, Aki was a partner at a firm in Japan. She practiced law there for more than 10 years. She also has experience as in-house legal counsel to a U.S. employer in Japan operating in the consumer goods industry.

Affiliazioni professionali e istituzionali


Boston Bar Association


The Japan Society of Boston


Women in Business Committee

American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Kansai Chapter



Employment Committee

Inter Pacific Bar Association


News, Analysis & Press

Japan addresses wage gap by requiring gender pay gap disclosure

Human Resources Director Asia

October 5, 2023

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q4 2021

Global Guide Quarterly

January 19, 2022

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q3 2020

Global Guide Quarterly

October 22, 2020

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q2 2020

Global Guide Quarterly

July 23, 2020

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q1 2020

Global Guide Quarterly

April 15, 2020

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q4 2019

Global Guide Quarterly

January 22, 2020

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q3 2019

Global Guide Quarterly

October 16, 2019

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q2 2019

Global Guide Quarterly

July 17, 2019

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q1 2019

Global Guide Quarterly

April 15, 2019

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q4 2018

Global Guide Quarterly

January 16, 2019

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q3 2018

Global Guide Quarterly

October 11, 2018

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q2 2018

Global Guide Quarterly

July 20, 2018

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q1 2018

Global Guide Quarterly

April 23, 2018

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q4 2017

Global Guide Quarterly

January 19, 2018

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q3 2017

Global Guide Quarterly

October 12, 2017

International Legal Challenge

The Global Background Screener

August 1, 2017

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q2 2017

Global Guide Quarterly

July 11, 2017

Littler Global Guide - Japan - Q1 2017

Global Guide Quarterly

March 31, 2017

Japan: Amendment to Worker Dispatch Act


December 8, 2015

Japan's Trade Secret Law Reform Should Focus On Discovery, co-author


October 2014

Legal Structure to Protect Trade Secrets: Referring to American Practice, co-author

New Business Law

June 2014

Global Business Immigration Practice Guide, co-author


July 2012

Important New Law Governing Employment Contracts, co-author

ACCJ Journal

August 2008

Speaking Engagements

Littler Hawaii Breakfast Briefing

Honolulu, HI

June 21, 2024

Littler's Women's Leadership Initiative Presents: A Guide to Women’s Issues in the Workplace

Littler Executive Employer Conference, Phoenix, AZ

May 8, 2024

How to Lead an International Internal Investigation: Cross-Border Compliance and Strategies

May 24, 2022

Wellness and Morale for Women: Working Together Beyond the Taboo

Littler Executive Employer Conference

May 6, 2022

Exposure Under the New EU “Whistleblower Directive” and Beyond: How to Comply with the World’s Emerging Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation and Hotline Mandates

Littler Executive Employer Conference

May 5, 2022

FAQs: COVID-19 Vaccinations in the APAC Region

November 23, 2021

Asia Pacific Regional Outlook 2021

February 4, 2021

Asia Pacific Regional Outlook 2021

February 3, 2021

International Cutbacks and Reductions-in-Force in the Global Pandemic

April 16, 2020

COVID-19 – For Companies with Employees in China, Japan and South Korea

March 26, 2020

Managing Your Workforce in APAC in 2020 and Beyond

New York, NY

October 24, 2019

#MeToo, #StandUp and Transformative Technologies in the Workplace

San Francisco, CA

September 13, 2018

International Employment & Labor Law Roundtable

Los Angeles, CA

September 12, 2018

Looking Ahead in Asia: Managing Your Workforce Through 2018 and Beyond

Littler Executive Employer, Phoenix, AZ

May 3, 2018

You’re Fired! An Apples-to-Apples Comparison of the Employee Dismissal Process Across Key International Jurisdictions

February 27, 2018

Key Essentials to Business Incorporation & Hiring Practices in Japan

JETRO Webinar

June 29, 2017

Employment Law Update: Asia-Pacific

May 18, 2017

Essential Employment and Labor Law Updates for Companies with Employees in or from Japan

January 30, 2017

Cutting Edge Corporate Employment and Immigration Issues

IPBA Annual International Conference, Vancouver, Canada

May 10, 2014

Social Media and Workplace: Risks and Rewards

IPBA Annual International Conference, Seoul, Korea

April 20, 2013

Labor Risk Faced by the Japanese Companies in Indonesia and Workaround Thereof

JAC Recruitment Co., Ltd., Osaka and Nagoya, Japan

February 21-22, 2013

U.S. Labor Law: Use of SNS (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) by Employees and Leakage of Corporate Information

Osaka, Japan

December 6, 2012

Recent Revisions of Important Employment Laws

American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Osaka, Japan

October 22, 2012

The Real State of Overtime Payment and Unpaid Wage Claims in the U.S.: Things that Japanese Companies in the U.S. Should Keep in Mind to Avoid Claims Submitted by their Employees

Osaka, Japan

October 1, 2012

Labor Law to Expand into Myanmar

Osaka, Japan

June 8, 2012

Korean Law Seminar: Gist of Negotiating with Korean Companies - Comparison of Labor Law System

Osaka, Japan

April 27, 2012

Risk Management Seminar Given by a Legal Professional: Law at Work - Employment and Labor Issues

Chicago, IL

April 20, 2012

Regulations on Labor Law in the Four ASEAN Countries

Osaka and Tokyo, Japan

March 7-9, 2012

The Rising Significance of Cross-Border Employment: Issues, Difficulties & Solutions

IPBA Annual International Conference, New Delhi, India

March 1, 2012


  • LL.M., Boston University School of Law, 2016
  • LL.B., University of Kyoto, Faculty of Law, Kyoto, Japan, 2003

Conoscenze linguistiche

  • Giapponese
  • Inglese

Foro di appartenenza

New York