Global Programs Blog


Cody Gee, JD ‘21
Legal and Internal Audit Department
Kobelco Construction Machinery, Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, Japan


The first time I walked into the office I was amazed at how big the office was and how different the office was compared to offices in the United States. The office of Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (“Kobelco”) is one vast room filled with all its different departments that operate the company. Each department has eight desks grouped together with four desks facing another row of four desks with a group manager who sits at the head of each cluster. There are really no individual offices or cubicles, which I find interesting because it allows every worker to communicate with each other as well as other departments to easily access each other. 

I was placed with the Legal Group, which included Otowa-san, Yamauchi-san, Takagi-san, Honsho-san, Shishikura-san, Fukuda-san, and Kikui-san. I will also be working with the Internal Audit Group and the Compliance Planning & Administration Group. They all sit around the same area, and I already feel as if I am part of a team working together to complete a goal.

JapanIf you are not familiar with the company, Kobelco develops, manufactures, sells, and services construction machinery, primarily excavators and cranes of all shapes and sizes. Kobelco is a subsidiary of Kobe Steel, Ltd. (“Kobe Steel”), but they have over 24 subsidiary companies all around Asia, Oceania, Europe, and the United States.

After morning introductions, informational meetings, and a very delicious lunch, I met with Otowa-san and Honsho-san to discuss what the Legal Group focuses on and what assignments I would be taking on. Honsho-san gave me my first assignment, which was to compare the Japan’s judicial system with that of the United States. This included court structure, court roles, civil procedure, criminal procedure, and appellate procedure. I then realized that I would have to get very familiar with Japanese laws as well as my Federal Rules of Civil Procedure book again.

Japanese Building
Cody Gee in Japan
Japanese Building
Japanese Skyline
Cody Gee in Japan
Japanese Building