Itochu

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Itochu Corporation
伊藤忠商事株式会社
Formerly called C. Itoh & Co., Ltd.
Type Public KK
Traded as TYO: 8001
(also NSE, FSE and SSE)
NASDAQITOCY
Industry Trading company
Founded 1858 (predecessor business)
1949 (present corporation)
Founder(s) Chubei Itoh
Headquarters Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan
Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Key people Eizo Kobayashi (Chairman)
Masahiro Okafuji (President and CEO)
Revenue Increase ¥4,580 billion (Mar. 2013)[1]
Net income Decrease ¥280.3 billion (Mar. 2013)[1]
Total assets Increase ¥7,117 billion (Mar. 2013)[2]
Total equity Increase ¥1,765 billion (Mar. 2013)
Employees 103,766 including subsidiaries (Mar. 2013)[3]
Website www.itochu.co.jp/en/
Osaka headquarters of Itochu (North Gate Building)
Tokyo headquarters of Itochu
Yanase HQ, largest retailer and importer of European and North American vehicles to Japan (Shibaura, Minato, Tokyo)
Former Osaka headquarters of Itochu (left building) in Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan

Itochu Corporation (伊藤忠商事株式会社 Itōchū Shōji Kabushiki-gaisha?, known in English as C. Itoh & Co. until 1992) is a Japanese corporation based in Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka and Aoyama, Minato, Tokyo.

Itochu is the third-largest Japanese sogo shosha (general trading company) after Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsui & Co.[4] Among Japanese trading companies, it is distinguished by not being descended from an historical zaibatsu group, by the strength of its textiles business and by the strength of its operations in China.[3] It has six major operational divisions specializing in textiles, metals/minerals, food, machinery, energy/chemicals and ICT/general products/real estate.[5]

Itochu is the third-largest Japanese public company by revenue,[6] and was ranked 174th on 2013's list of Fortune Global 500 companies.[7]

History[edit]

Itochu dates the start of its business to 1858, shortly after the opening of Japan to foreign trade, when Chubei Itoh (伊藤 忠兵衛 Itō Chūbei?) began door-to-door wholesaling of linen in the regions between Osaka and Kyushu. Itoh founded the "Benichu" drapery store in the Honmachi district of Osaka in 1872. This site was renamed "Itoh Honten" in 1884 and became the Itoh Thread and Yarn Store in 1893, which was renamed "C. Itoh & Co." in 1914.[8]

Chubei Itoh II took over the company following his father's death in 1903. The company opened an office in Shanghai in the 1890s and started business in Seoul in 1905, but had severe difficulties with these first overseas forays. Itoh travelled to London in 1910 and began direct procurement and financing for the business in the London markets, which considerably improved its margins as it had previously used more expensive intermediaries in Japan.[9]

Itoh's company grew considerably in the wake of World War I, with offices in the United States, India, the Philippines and China, and the firm began to handle machinery, automobiles and metals in addition to its core business of textiles. However, a recession in 1920 left the company deeply in debt, and unlike the major zaibatsu firms of the time, it had no captive bank to finance its business. In 1921, the company split in half, with one half forming what is now known as Marubeni. The company's performance improved in the 1930s, but as World War II began in the latter half of the decade, all trading companies' business became increasingly war-oriented.[9] In 1941, Itoh and Marubeni re-combined to form Sanko Kabushiki Kaisha, which merged with two other companies to form Daiken Co., Ltd. in 1944. These companies were again spun off from each other in December 1949 as part of GHQ efforts to dismantle the war-era zaibatsu. Itoh re-listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1950.[8]

Itoh resumed business in the wake of the war by bartering Japanese textiles for foreign grain, and resumed trading in petroleum, aircraft, automobiles and machinery to meet UN forces requirements during the Korean War. After the war, Itoh absorbed many smaller trading operations that could no longer stand on their own. Itoh expanded its overseas mining and petroleum exploration activity in the late 1960s and early 1970s, followed by large-scale overseas industrial projects in the 1980s.[9] In 1972 Itoh became the first Japanese trading company allowed to do business in the People's Republic of China.[8]

Itoh was headquartered near the site of Chubei Itoh's historical headquarters in Osaka until 1967, when it upgraded its Tokyo branch to the status of a co-headquarters.[8] In the 1970s, the company became part of the "Kawasaki Group" within the keiretsu of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank (now Mizuho Corporate Bank), eventually displacing Nissho Iwai as the keiretsu's dominant trading company. Itoh's affiliation with the keiretsu was significantly looser than other keiretsu-affiliated trading companies, and many firms within the DKB group did not use Itoh's services at all.[10]

From the early 1970s Itoh was a major supplier of synthetic yarn (polyester) to India's Reliance Industries Limited.[11] Over the years, the close collaboration between both companies culminated in the co-promotion of a world-scale Polypropylene Project with a capacity of 250,000 tonnes per annum at a total project cost of Rs. 525 Crores, at Hazira in the State of Gujarat. With a $50 million for a 15 percent stake,[11] it was at that point, the largest investment in India by a Japanese firm.[12]

Itoh also marketed products—under their own label—as diverse as a line of bicycles (mostly manufactured by Bridgestone), and computer printers.

On October 1, 1992, C. Itoh & Co. Ltd. changed its English name to Itochu Corporation, a more direct transliteration of its Japanese name.[12] By the early 1990s Itochu had become the largest trading company in Japan, but losses from the Japanese asset price bubble, particularly domestic real estate investments, brought it down to third place by the middle of the decade.[9]

Offices[edit]

Group businesses[edit]

Textiles[edit]

Machinery[edit]

Metals and minerals[edit]

  • Marubeni-Itochu Steel
  • Itochu Metals

Energy and chemicals[edit]

Food[edit]

ICT, general products and realty[edit]

Printer models[edit]

  • 1550
  • 8500 / 8510A (NEC 8023, ImageWriter)
  • 8600
  • F-10-40, F-10-55
  • CX-4800 (plotter)
  • Riteman F+, C+

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Highlights of our operating results". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Highlights of our financial position". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "伊藤忠商事(株) 企業情報". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Holstein, William (10 March 2009). "Here Come the Sogo Shosha". strategy+business. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Our Business". ITOCHU. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "株式ランキング 売上高". Yahoo Japan Finance. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Global 500: Itochu". Fortune. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d "ITOCHU History". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d "ITOCHU Corporation History". International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 32. St. James Press, 2000. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  10. ^ Suzuki, Shinichi. The Japanese Main Bank System: A Transaction Cost Approach. p. 111. 
  11. ^ a b [Hamish] Check |authorlink= value (help) (2010). Ambani & Sons. Australia: Lotus-Roli. pp. 59, 102. ISBN 978-8174368140. 
  12. ^ a b "Annexure to Director's Report". Reliance Industries Ltd., Annual Report 1991-92 (RIL). 1992. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  13. ^ "ITOCHU Announces the Relocation of its Osaka Headquarters". ITOCHU Corporation. August 15, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Toshiba, Hitachi and ITOCHU Win Order for ITS Package for Vietnam's Expressway". ITOCHU Corporation. 18 March 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Announces Awarding of Contract "Rolling Stock Modification and New Train Cars for SCL Phase 1" for MTR in Hong Kong". ITOCHU Corporation. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "ITOCHU to Participate in PPP New Generation Rollingstock Project in Queensland, Australia". ITOCHU Corporation. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "ITOCHU Announces Conclusion of Loan Contract for Sarulla Geothermal IPP Project in Indonesia". ITOCHU Corporation. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Corporate History". FamilyMart. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Japan's Itochu to buy Dole Food businesses for $1.7 billion". Reuters. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  20. ^ http://www.itochu.co.jp/en/news/2008/080804.html
  21. ^ http://www.itochu.co.jp/en/business/food/project/02/
This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Japanese Wikipedia.

External links[edit]