Corporate Profile

Story of Kanematsu

Time of Startup 1889〜

After the foundation in 1889, Fusajiro established the basis for sales in about ten years, by which time he was responsible for 40% to 50% of Japan's wool imports. Around the time of World War I, in line with the unprecedented growth of Japan's trade, exports increased. During World War II, while trade with Europe and the US declined, Fusajiro adapted to the wartime economy and expanded into the collection of goods and production to mark the beginning of diversified management.

Founder:Fusajiro Kanematsu

History of Kanematsu

1889 Fusajiro Kanematsu founds Fusajiro Kanematsu Shoten of Australian Trading in Kobe.
1890 Sets up a branch in Sydney, and begins direct import of Australian wool.
1900 Starts import of Australian wheat
1913 Opens stores in New York and Seattle
1943 Changes trade name to Kanematsu and Company.

Events in Japan

1889 The Constitution of the Empire of Japan is issued
1894 Dr. Shibasaburo Kitazato discovers Yersinia pestis
1923 The Great Kanto Earthquake

World Events

1889 The Eiffel Tower is completed
1903 The Wright brothers succeed in flying an airplane
1914 World War I breaks out
1939 World War II breaks out

After World War II 1945〜

Kanematsu responded to the change in demand caused by the structural reform of Japan's economy and converted from a trade company centered on fibers to a general trade corporation. Before World War II, fibers accounted for about 80% of sales, but after World War II, products other than fibers accounted for about 70% of sales.

The building where Kanematsu's
New York office was located at the time

History of Kanematsu

1949 Resumption of foreign tours for employees. The first group departs for America.
1951 Establishes an overseas affiliated company in New York, as the first Japanese trading company in postwar era. Establishes an overseas affiliated company in Brazil.
1957 Establishes an overseas affiliated company in West Germany.
1961 Lists stock on the Second Section of the Osaka Securities Exchange
1966 Establishes an overseas affiliated company in Thailand.

Events in Japan

1949 Hideki Yukawa receives the Nobel Prize in Physics
1958 The Tokyo Tower is completed
1964 The Tokyo Olympics are held and the Tokaido Shinkansen line commences operation
1967 Japan's population exceeds the 100 million mark

World Events

1945 World War II ends
1950 The Korean War breaks out
1962 Cuban Missile Crisis

High Growth Period 1967〜

In 1967, Kanematsu and Gosho Company merged to further accelerate the conversion to a general trading corporation. In late 1970s, during a period of winter-like hardship for trading companies, when they were criticized for causing inflation through their business activities or were said to be unnecessary, Kanematsu had a hard time as its revenues increased but its profits fell.

Former Tokyo
headquarters building

History of Kanematsu

1967 Merges with The Gosho Company to form Kanematsu-Gosho, Ltd.
1970 Establishes its Head Office at the Tokyo Branch Office.
1973 Lists stock on the First Sections of the Tokyo Stock Exchanges.
1979 Establishes a representative office in Beijing, China following restoration of diplomatic relations.

Events in Japan

1970 Osaka Expo held
1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics held / Okinawa Restoration
1973 Wild price spiral caused by the Oil Shock / Buyout of housewares
1978 New Tokyo International Airport opens in Narita

World Events

1969 Apollo 11 makes the first-ever lunar landing
1973 First oil shock
1981 Space Shuttle makes the first flight

Bubble/Structural Reform Period 1985〜

Against a background of a high-yen recession caused by the Plaza Accord, monetary easing was implemented. The economic bubble period began.
During this period, Kanematsu grew steadily centered on fuel and chemical products. After the collapse of the bubble economy, through the Heisei recession, in 1999 Kanematsu undertook a number of reforms to strengthen its business structure. By refining its business focus, Kanematsu took steps to improve and enhance its financial foundations. In 2014, Kanematsu announced VISION-130 for its 130th anniversary. In view of maintaining sound financial strength and expanding its revenue base at the same time, Kanematsu took on new challenges, including new investments, to become a corporation that constantly seeks to create business.

Sesvans Building where
the headquarters
are currently located

History of Kanematsu

1989 100th anniversary of the founding of the Company.
1990 Changes trade name to Kanematsu Corporation.
1999 Structural Reform Plan
2013 Resumption of dividend for the first time in 15 years
2019 130th anniversary of the founding of the Company

Events in Japan

1995 The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake / Tokyo subway sarin gas attack
1998 Nagano Winter Olympics held
2002 FIFA World Cup Japan/Korea
2011 The Great East Japan Earthquake

World Events

1985 Plaza Accord
1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall
1991 Gulf War
1996 Japanese embassy hostage crisis in Peru
2001 Simultaneous terrorist attacks in the US
2008 Lehman's collapse
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