[WorldKings - Wowtimes - Almanac Events & Achievements 2023] Impressive milestones in the 147 years of development of Mitsui & Co., one of the largest general trading companies in Japan (1876)


(Worldkings.org) Mitsui & Co., Ltd. is one of the largest sogo shosha (general trading companies) in Japan.

The company was established in 1876 with 16 members including the founder, Takashi Masuda. As Japan's international trading was dominated by foreigners since the end of the Edo period, it aimed to expand business owned by Japanese citizens. By the end of World War II, it became a dominant trading giant, but was dissolved by the order of GHQ.

The current Mitsui & Co. was established in 1947 as Daiichi Bussan Kaisha, Ltd. (First Bussan Corporation Ltd). In 1959, it merged with several other trading companies and changed its name to Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

During Japan's period of rapid postwar economic growth, the firm was a key player in several major natural resources projects. In 1971, it took a stake in an offshore gas field near Das Island in Abu Dhabi, which supplies liquefied natural gas to Japan on an exclusive basis; it invested in a major Western Australian LNG project in 1985 and in the Sakhalin II project in 1994.

Mitsui is involved in six main business areas: Energy, metals, chemicals, machinery, life, and information and business development.


The company’s milestones:

July 1876 - Mitsui & Co., Ltd was established. The first president was Takashi Masuda, and the number of employees at the time of establishment was 18.

November 1876 - Merged with Mitsui Gumi Kokukata and Mitsukoshi Delinquent Lending Cube, a trading organization within Mitsui Gumi.

June 1889 - Concluded a sole sales contract for Miike charcoal with Miike Coal Mine (later Mitsui Mine).

April 1920 - Separated the cotton department and established Toyo Cotton (later Tomen, now: Toyota Tsusho).

July 1937 - Separated the shipbuilding department and established Tama Shipyard (now Mitsui E&S Holdings).

December 1942 - Separated the ship division and established Mitsui Senpaku (currently Mitsui O.S.K. Lines).

July 1947 - Received a dissolution order from GHQ due to the dissolution of the Zaibatsu. Established as one of the new companies affiliated with Daiichi Bussan and the former Mitsui & Co.

November 1947 - The former Mitsui & Co. dissolved.

May 1949 - Daiichi Bussan, listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

March 1958 - Established Daiichi Bussan, Nippon Remington Univac (later Nihon Unisys, now: BIPROGY).

February 1959 - Daiichi Bussan and other new companies affiliated with the former Mitsui & Co. gather together to form a large joint venture.


June 1963 - Established Kyokuto Oil Co., Ltd. in a joint venture with Mobil Oil, USA.

June 1965 - Take over the business of Kinoshita Sansho.

November 1967 - Computer Systems Service (currently Mitsui Information) was established by separating the information system department.

April 1969 - Started shipping iron ore from Mount Newman, Australia.

July 1969 - Mitsui Oil Development Co., Ltd. was established by 17 Mitsui Group companies.

March 1971 - Established Mitsui Leasing Business (currently JA Mitsui Leasing) by separating the Leasing Division.

October 1976 - Head office relocated to 1-2-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda - ku, Tokyo.


May 1977 - Started production of Abu Dhabi LNG on Das Island.

March 1989 - Japanese communication satellite (currently SKY Perfect JSAT) succeeded in launching Japan's first private commercial communication satellite JC/SAT1.

April 8, 1999 - Partnered with the British Rothschild Group, established a long-term fund in June and invested in Japanese unlisted stocks.

November 2014 - Head office relocated to Nissei Marunouchi Garden Tower at 1-1-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda -ku, Tokyo. A part of the company will move into the JA building at 1-3-1 Otemachi in the same ward, and the head office will be in two locations.

January 2016 - Announced participation in the construction and operation of a natural gas-fired power plant ordered by the Oman State-owned Electricity and Water Corporation.

April 2017 - Announced investment in Russia's largest pharmaceutical company R-farm and participation in the construction of a solar power plant in Jordan, the first large-scale solar power generation project overseas.

May 7, 2020 - From the Nippon Life Marunouchi Garden Tower and JA Building, the head office was moved to the "Mitsui & Co. Building" in the Otemachi One block.

June 1, 2020 - Established Mitsui Bussan Ryutsu Holdings Co., Ltd. as an intermediate holding company, Mitsui Foods Co., Ltd., Vendor Service Co., Ltd., Retail System Service Co., Ltd., and Bussan Logistics Solutions Co., Ltd. The shares of four companies were transferred to the company.


According to Wikipedia

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