Finsbury opens Tokyo office to cement its Asia foothold

Its current Japan-based clients include Toyota, Softbank, and the government.

Kyota Narimatsu
Kyota Narimatsu

TOKYO: Finsbury has opened an office in Tokyo as it increases its operations across Asia.

The office is led by Barclays alum Kyota Narimatsu, who has been named co-president for Finsbury Japan. The agency also has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Singapore.

Narimatsu officially joined Finsbury on November 1. The new office opens on Tuesday with four staffers, and will hire more in 2017. Additionally, some Finsbury staffers will temporarily relocate to Tokyo.

At Barclays Japan, Narimatsu served as head of corporate communications. Prior to that, he oversaw marketing and comms for Russell Investments for Japan, Korea, and China, and had roles at Standard & Poor’s in Japan and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, according to a release.

"For the past several years we have viewed the Japanese market as important to cementing our foothold in Asia, broadening our offerings to our current Japanese clients, and building a truly global platform for strategic communications," said Finsbury global CEO Michael Gross.

Finsbury’s high-profile work for Japanese companies includes advising Toyota during its accelerator recall, working on Softbank’s $32.2 billion acquisition of ARM Holdings, and managing the fallout of Sumitomo Corporation’s trading scandal in 1996 that bled the company for $1.9 billion.

Finsbury Japan is expected to support Toyota’s sponsorship of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, sources close to the matter told PRWeek. Toyota has been a Finsbury client since May 2006.

"As more and more Japanese companies continue to expand globally, they need the support of a firm like ours that can provide sophisticated communications advice and also has a track record helping Japanese companies navigate complex communications and regulatory issues outside of Japan," said Gross. "At the same time, having an on-the-ground presence in Tokyo allows us to help multi-national clients manage communications issues and opportunities in Japan."

Finsbury continues to provide media relations support on Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan, a campaign organized by the Japanese prime minister's office in 2014, as the government beefs up its lobbying and PR efforts.

Brought on by the prime minister’s office in 2015, the agency has secured appearances in national and local print, TV, and radio interviews for the touring Japanese delegations, which include former ambassadors.

Finsbury partnered with Stockholm, Sweden-based Kreab for consulting services in 2015 to support the campaign, and again in 2016, government documents show. The current contract with Kreab, signed in September, expires August 31, 2017.

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