Morrison & Foerster turns to the Nikkei Asia for close-up insights and region wide perspectives

Nozomi Oda


Morrison & Foerster Tokyo Office

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Since the global law firm Morrison & Foerster opened its Tokyo office in 1987, it has spearheaded significant deals bridging businesses in the country and abroad. Housed in one of the city’s tallest skyscrapers in its premier business district by Tokyo Station, the office boasts about 120 experienced attorneys, including locals and international transplants. They have established the firm’s reputation for leveraging the knowledge of its diverse talent and tailoring solutions for clients with global ambitions.

Nozomi Oda, a partner at the firm admitted to the bar in Japan and New York, has handled prominent deals including the cross-border tie-up of two pharmaceutical giants -- Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca and Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo. The Nikkei Asia asked her how she uses the publication to stay ahead on Asia’s rapidly evolving business scene.

—How does the the Nikkei Asia mesh with your work?

“I read the Nikkei Asia in three different ways. First, I use it as a news source to gain information about companies in the particular fields related to my projects. I look for English information about the clients I communicate with daily.

Second, I widen the focus a little, and use the publication to gain general knowledge related to my fields -- mergers and acquisitions. Reading stories and gaining information from the Nikkei Asia puts potential demand and deal opportunities on my radar.

Third, I read the paper with a broader perspective to keep up with the latest Pan-Asian trends. The publication, especially the special reports in the magazine, gives me a sense of what is happening across the region.”

—What do you consider the Nikkei Asia’s strengths?

“The Nikkei brand provides incomparable credibility. Since I know I can trust it, I’m at ease when I read the Nikkei Asia. I can take the information without having to do further research. For me, that’s a big advantage. Another strength I’ve found is the extensive use of data, visualized in helpful graphics. This is very useful for grasping ideas at a glance during my busy days. When time is limited, the Nikkei Asia is a great tool for understanding the big picture from oceans of information -- accurately and quickly.”

Morrison & Foerster office

—How do you incorporate the Nikkei Asia into your workflow?

“At our office, American attorneys and Japanese attorneys, both bilingual, team up to provide the best solutions for our clients. We go beyond the differences of our cultural and business backgrounds to build strong synergies, making the most of each person’s unique skills. Using the Nikkei Asia stories to share information with team members or our clients has become part of my regular routine.

Clients based overseas often are curious about how their acquisition deals have been reported in Asia, and we often share the Nikkei Asia stories. Nikkei’s coverage of Japanese corporate deals, in particular, is unrivaled. So the Nikkei Asia is a very useful tool.”

—What are the benefits of reading the Nikkei Asia compared to other English publications?

“There are plenty of news sources out there, and each provides daily stories from its respective area. But patching together information from multiple media, to grasp the big picture of the region’s business trends, is not an easy task for any reader – especially if you’re busy. Reading the Nikkei Asia, however, gives readers that Pan-Asian scope. It’s a one-stop shop for what’s happening across the region.

For example, different media might run stories about companies leaving this or that country, but it’s usually as standalone news stories. The Nikkei Asia connects the dots of what’s going on in the region as a whole. The Nikkei Asia does the patching work. In addition, I personally find that the Nikkei Asia’s cover stories come in an easy-to-read length despite the deep analysis they provide. I often enjoy reading them over lunch in the office.”

—How do you see the future of the Japanese market for your firm?

“Along with a backdrop of increasing demand for global expansion among Japanese companies, the need for professional advice from a firm well-versed in global standards is set to rise. Morrison & Foerster is a world leader among inter- national law firms, with offices stretching from the U.S. to Europe and Asia.

The Tokyo office, where I work, is the largest international firm in Japan. We represent various corporations including Softbank Group, Toshiba, Hitachi and Fujitsu, and we handled some of the most significant cross-border business deals in the nation’s history. Clients choose us for our top-notch services, provided by attorneys from Japan and the U.S. And we expect this to continue. We are determined to continue leveraging our strengths, and to support the global expansion of businesses, especially in the medical and biotech industries.”

—Thank you for your time.

Nikkei Asian Review was renamed Nikkei Asia on September 30th, 2020. Quotes have been updated to reflect this.

Nozomi Oda

Nozomi Oda


Morrison & Foerster Tokyo Office

Nozomi Oda is a partner at Morrison & Foerster's Tokyo office since 2019. Her specialties include cross-border public and private M&A deals and joint ventures, with a particular emphasis on advising private equity and life sciences clients. Beyond her work in private practice, she served as a deputy director of the corporate disclosure department at Japan’ s Financial Services Agency between 2009 and 2011. Oda holds a bachelor’ s degree in law from the University of Tokyo and Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School.


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