Mitsui & Co.

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Not to be confused with Mitsui Group.
Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Native name
Public KK
Traded as TYO: 8031
OSE: 8242
Industry Trading Companies
Founded July 25, 1947; 68 years ago (1947-07-25)
Founder Takashi Masuda, Tatsuzo Minakami
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Area served
Global (151 offices in 65 countries)
Key people
Masami Iijima, President and Chief Executive Officer
Products Iron & Steel Products, Mineral & Metal Resources, Infrastructure Projects, Motor Vehicles, Marine & Aerospace, Chemicals, Energy, Foods & Retail, Consumer Services, Information, Electronics and Telecommunications, Financial Markets and Transportation Logistics.
Revenue Yen 5,738 billion (2008)
Yen 375 billion (2008)
Yen 410 billion (2008)
Number of employees
5,886 (Consolidated:39,864)(2008)

Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (三井物産 Mitsui Bussan?) is one of the largest sogo shosha (general trading companies) in Japan, and also part of the Mitsui Group. Its business area covers energy, machinery, chemicals, food, textile, logistics, finance, and more.


Former headquarters (scheduled for demolition in 2015)

First 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 displace trading back to Japanese nationals by expanding 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. In 1959, it merged with several other trading companies and changed its name to Mitsui & Co., Ltd.[1]

During Japan's period of rapid postwar economic growth, Mitsui was a key player in several major projects in the natural resources sector. 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.[1]

Subsidiary Mitsui Oil Exploration's MOEX Offshore had a 10% stake in the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico through a subsidiary, and in May, 2011, MOEX agreed to pay US$1.07 billion to settle British Petroleum claims against it over the explosion and oil spill at the well. Some analysts had thought BP would realize a larger settlement from MOEX but there was also relief to have a first step toward resolving the multiple claims.[2]

Business areas[edit]

Mitsui engages in six major business areas:[3]

  • Energy: Upstream development and trading in oil and gas. This is Mitsui's largest line of business, accounting for over half of its consolidated EBITDA and net earnings in the first half of fiscal year 2015.[4] Mitsui has two major energy projects in the United States, at the Marcellus Shale in the Mid-Atlantic and the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas.[5]
  • Metals: Development and trading in various metals with a focus on iron ore and steel. This business is also comparatively large, accounting for about a quarter of consolidated EBITDA and net earnings.[4] In 2014 Mitsui acquired a stake in the Moatize coal mine and Nacala rail and port development in Mozambique from the Brazilian mining company Vale.[6]
  • Chemicals: Trades and invests in basic and performance chemicals including fertilizers, electronics materials and functional materials.
  • Machinery and Infrastructure: Sells, finances and invests in large-scale plants, ships, aircraft, automobiles and other heavy machinery.
  • Lifestyle: Develops business in food, retail, healthcare, fashion, forestry and real estate. In 2014, CEO Masami Iijima identified this segment as an area of particular interest, particularly in relation to Mitsui's cooperation with Lippo Group in Indonesia.[5]
  • Information and Corporate Development: Develops business in information technology, finance and logistics.

Recent activities[edit]


  1. ^ a b "History". Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Kennedy, Simon (May 20, 2011). "BP settles with Mitsui arm over Macondo spill". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2011-05-20. 
  3. ^ "Six business areas". Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Consolidated Financial Results" (PDF). Mitsui & Co. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Fukase, Atsuko (30 January 2015). "Mitsui Remains Focused on Resources". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Iwata, Mari (9 December 2014). "Mitsui to Buy Into Some Vale Operations in Mozambique". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 

External links[edit]