Norihito Sato


Norihito Sato

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He is focused on domestic and overseas M&A transactions including going-private management buyout, carve-out by private equity funds, joint ventures, strategic alliances and complex cross-border transactions. He has extensive knowledge in road transport regulations including automated vehicles and MaaS. During his secondment to the Road Transport Bureau of MLIT, he was in charge of amending the Road Transport Vehicle Act, which enables the safe deployment of automated vehicles in Japan. He also drafted the Ministry’s report on determining the civil liability caused by automated vehicles. He was deeply involved with type approval and recall regulations as well as investigations of inspection cheating scandals of some large car makers.

Contact Information


Practice Areas

Work Highlights

  • Issuance of preferred shares by Kasai Kogyo Co., Ltd. to Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. by third party allotment​ (May 2024)
  • Acquisition of business of BIGMOTOR Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries by JKH Co., Ltd. established by ITOCHU Corporation, ITOCHU ENEX CO., LTD. and a fund managed by J-Will Partners Co., Ltd. through company split (May 2024)
  • Sale of Sasaeah Holdings to Virbac Japan by ORIX Corporation (March 2024)
  • Sale of Hitachi Power Devices by Hitachi to MinebeaMitsumi (November 2023)
  • Partial sale and capital restructuring of Hitachi Astemo (March 2023)​
  • Sale of Hitachi Metals by Hitachi to Bain Capital (May 2021)​
  • Carve-out M&A of overseas home appliance business by Hitachi Global Life Solutions (Established a joint venture with ARÇELİK A.Ş., a major Turkish company) (December 2020)
  • Sale of Hitachi Chemical to Showa Denko by Hitachi (November 2019)​
  • MBO of Aderans Company Limited (October 2016)
  • Business alliance between Hitachi Capital and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease; and business alliance between Hitachi, Hitachi Capital, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease and Finance (May 2016)​
  • Sale of SAPIX Elementary School Division to Yozemi Group by the founders (May 2010)

Norihito Sato:Awards

MHM receives awards at ALB Japan Law Awards 2024
MHM lawyers selected as finalists for Individual Categories at ALB Japan Law Awards 2024
The Best Lawyers in Japan™ and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Japan™ (2025 edition)

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Norihito Sato:News

Norihito Sato appears on page 3 of "Tokyo Transportation News" in an article titled "Commentary on Level 4 Autonomous Driving (9): Advent of Level 4 and Current Status and Future Outlook of Legal Framework"
Public Service
Norihito Sato becomes a member of the Sub-Working Group on the Examination of Social Rules Concerning Automated Vehicles in the AI Era, Digital Agency
Public Service
Norihito Sato becomes an external advisory committee member of the Small/Startup Business Innovation Research Promotion Program (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism)

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Norihito Sato:Legal Topics

Norihito Sato:Seminars

Jul. 11, 2023External Seminars
"Current Status and Key Points of Carve-out M&A (Part 60): Commentary Focusing on Complex Multinational Carve-out Cases"
Mar. 9, 2023External Seminars
"ReVision Mobility Summit 2023"
Mar. 8, 2023External Seminars
"IPBA2023:New Mobility Solutions in the World of Autonomous/Electric Vehicles and Urban Air Mobility Vehicles"

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Norihito Sato:Publications

Magazine Article
"Latest legal trends in Japan on automated vehicles"
Magazine Other
"Insight into the Current Status of Discussions on Ride-sharing in Japan"
Magazine Article
"Latest Discussions on Mobility (Autonomous Driving and Ride-sharing)"

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Norihito Sato:Other


  • The University of Tokyo (LL.B., 2007)
  • Northwestern University School of Law (LL.M., 2013), Kellogg School of Management (Certificate in Business Administration, 2013)
  • with Hengeler Mueller, Düsseldorf (2013-2014)
  • seconded to Hitachi, Ltd. (2014-2015)
  • with Road Transport Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (Director for Policy Planning and Coordination) (2017-2019)

Major Activities

  • Member of Project Adoption and Screening Committee (Digital Technology Development aimed at Regulatory Advancements in the field of Mobility), New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) (2020)
  • External Advisory Committee Member of the Small/Startup Business Innovation Research Promotion Program (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) (2023-)

  • Member of the Sub-Working Group on the Examination of Social Rules Concerning Automated Vehicles in the AI Era, Digital Agency (2023-)

Practice Group

  • M&A Practice Group
  • AI/IoT Practice Group
  • Corporate Law Practice Group
  • Employment & Labor Law Practice Group
  • Financial Regulations/Financial Law Study Group
  • Competition/Antitrust Practice Group

Bar Admissions

admitted in Japan, 2008
Daini-Tokyo Bar Association