Global Programs Blog


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


At the beginning of my second week working for Kobelco, I was assigned by Shishikura-san and Yamauchi-san, members of the legal team, to assist them in reviewing their non-disclosure agreement as well as further research when they would need to use it. Kobelco deals with many third parties that help it operate as a successful business. These parties can be someone as simple as a supplier of parts to someone as big as another company. I was glad they entrusted me with this assignment, and I started to review and edit their bilateral and unilateral agreements right away.

In addition, my senior colleague, Honsho-san, gave me my second assignment, which was presentation comparing U.S. bankruptcy code to that of Japan’s bankruptcy laws. This presentation would be my main project, where I would research chapters 7, 11, and 15 and give a two hour presentation on specific aspects that would help the legal team understand in the context of their own laws.

I began to really feel like a true Japanese office worker as I began to get more involved in my research. In addition, I started to become very comfortable commuting to work on the overstuffed trains, using my train card to get around the city, and finding the best spots to enjoy a quick meal.

After a great second week at the office, I decided to actually get away from the city. Many of my colleagues suggested I go to Nikko, a beautiful town in the middle of the mountains just north of Tokyo.

So, I packed my bag with everything I would need, bought a train ticket, and set off on my journey. It took me about two and a half hours by train to get to Nikko, and it was well worth the wait. The mountains in Nikko are covered with beautiful trees, and they surround the whole area. I went to the top of the mountain to see the famous Kegon falls, one of the three largest waterfalls in Japan, and I also saw the Toshogu Shrine, a recorded world heritage site.

The shrine was beautifully decorated in bronze and gold, and the architecture is so different from what you would typically see back in Texas. After walking around the town, I boarded my train to make my way back to Tokyo.

Cody Gee in Japan
Japanese Waterfall
Japanese Waterfall
Japanese Shrine
Japanese Shrine
Japanese Waterfall