Kojima was born in Tokyo during World War II, the son of Kazuo and Sakae Kojima. He graduated from Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya High School. In 1965, he received his bachelor's degree from the University of Tokyo in mechanical engineering. He joined the Mitsusbishi Corporation that same year and continued with them his entire career. Kojima held various positions in the corporation in Tokyo, in Saudi Arabia and the United States. In 1995 he was appointed to Mitsubishi's Board of Directors as an inside director (取締役). In 2001, he went from being managing director of the corporation's merchant banking group to vice president; and in 2004 he moved up to president and CEO, when then president Mikio Sasaki replaced the out-going Minoru Makihara as chairman of the board. In 2010, Kojima himself left the position of president and CEO to become chairman of the board of directors.
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- "Profile: 小島 順彦 (Profile: Yorihiko Kojima)". 産学官連携ジャーナル (Industry-University-Government Cooperation Journal) (in Japanese). 4 (1 (January)). 2008. Archived from the original on 25 October 2008.
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- Kojima, Yorihiko (October 2010). "米国勤務時代の思い出 (Memories of working in the United States)" (PDF) (in Japanese). Japan Association of Corporate Executives. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 January 2015.
- Staff (21 January 2004) "Mitsubishi chairman retiring" United Press International (UPI)
- "Yorihiko Kojima: Brief History". Mitsubishi Corporation. Archived from the original on 26 October 2013.
- "2008年度（平成20年度）通常総会前記者会見発言要旨 (Press Conference Statement on the 2008 Fiscal Year General Meeting: Retirements)" (in Japanese). Japan Association of Corporate Executives. 25 April 2008. Archived from the original on 29 January 2010.
- Marquis Who’s Who (corp.) (2007) "Yorihiko Kojima" Who's Who in the World - 2008 (25th Edition) Marquis Who's Who, New Providence, NJ
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