Open Access Articles- Top Results for Itochu


Itochu Corporation
Formerly called
C. Itoh & Co., Ltd.
Public KK
Traded as TYO: 8001
(also NSE, FSE and SSE)
Industry General trading company
Founded 1858 (predecessor business)
1949 (present corporation)
Founder Chubei Itoh
Headquarters Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan
Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Eizo Kobayashi (Chairman)
Masahiro Okafuji (President and CEO)
Revenue 11px ¥14,567 billion (Mar. 2014)
#redirect Template:If affirmed 11px ¥310.3 billion (Mar. 2014)
Total assets 11px ¥7,848 billion (Mar. 2014)
Total equity 11px ¥2,147 billion (Mar. 2014)
Number of employees
103,766 including subsidiaries (Mar. 2013)[1]
File:North Gate Building Office Tower, Osaka01.JPG
Osaka headquarters of Itochu (North Gate Building)
File:Itochu Co. (Tokyo headquarters 2).jpg
Tokyo headquarters of Itochu
File:Yanase HQ 2011 Tokyo.jpg
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 second-largest Japanese sogo shosha (general trading company) after Mitsubishi Corporation. Among Japanese trading companies, it is distinguished by not being descended from an historical zaibatsu group, but by the strength of its textiles business and its successful business operations in China.[1] It has six major operational divisions specializing in textiles, metals/minerals, food, machinery, energy/chemicals and ICT/general products/real estate.[2] Itochu was ranked 174th on 2013's list of Fortune Global 500 companies with an annual trading revenue of 145 billion USD.[3]

Itochu entered into a cross-shareholding relationship with the Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) in 2014, and together with CP, plans to invest over $8 billion in the Chinese state-owned conglomerate CITIC Group during 2015, the largest investment ever made by a Japanese general trading company.[4] The transaction is also the largest acquisition in China by a Japanese company, and the largest investment by foreigners in a Chinese state-owned enterprise.[5]


Prewar years

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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[7] 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.[6]

Postwar years

After World War II, the constituent companies of Daiken were 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.[6]

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.[7] In 1972 Itoh became the first Japanese trading company allowed to do business in the People's Republic of China.[6]

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.[6] 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.[8]

Itoh absorbed Ataka & Co., the ninth largest general trading company in Japan, in 1977. Ataka had recently suffered major losses from an oil development project in the United States and had undergone restructuring at the direction of its main lender, Sumitomo Bank.[9]

From the early 1970s Itoh was a major supplier of synthetic yarn (polyester) to India's Reliance Industries Limited.[10] 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,[10] it was at that point, the largest investment in India by a Japanese firm.[11] 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.[11] 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.[7] In the 1990s Itochu made several investments in the media industry, including a minority stake in Time Warner and investments in cable and satellite delivery systems.[12]

In 1999, Itochu became one of the first Japanese companies to move away from the traditional seniority-based pay scale, adopting a base pay scale based on responsibilities, impact and value of each position as well as a performance-linked bonus system.[13]

Masahiro Okafuji became president of Itochu in 2010 and announced a strategy to make Itochu the first-ranked sogo shosha in areas other than raw resources, particularly in food products and machinery. Under Okafuji's leadership, Itochu implemented a general ban on work after 8 PM with an across-the-board "lights out" policy at 10 PM while encouraging that any necessary overtime be taken in the early morning hours, reducing the total amount of overtime across the company.[14]

Itochu moved its Osaka headquarters to the North Gate Building adjacent to Osaka Station in 2011.[15]


ITOCHU's Osaka headquarters is located at the North Gate Building, 1-3, Umeda 3-Chome, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan Its Tokyo headquarters is located at 5-1 Kita-Aoyama 2-Chome, Minato, Tokyo, Japan.

ITOCHU also has seven branch offices in Japan, [16] sixteen offices and local subsidiaries in China,[17] 24 in Asia,[18] eight in the CIS,[19] four in Australia,[20] fifteen in the Middle East,[21] eight in Africa,[22] twelve in Europe,[23] ten in North America[24] and nine in Latin America.[25]

Group businesses



Metals and minerals

  • Marubeni-Itochu Steel
  • Itochu Metals

Energy and chemicals


ICT, general products and realty

Printer models

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

Notable people

  • Mac Akasaka, rare earths trader, perennial candidate in Japanese elections
  • Ichiro Fujisaki, former Japanese ambassador to the United States, currently member of the Board of Directors of Itochu
  • Hiroyuki Nagahama, member of the House of Representatives and Environment Minister in 2012, worked for Itochu early in his professional career
  • Uichiro Niwa, president from 1998 to 2004, later Japanese ambassador to China
  • Ryūzō Sejima, chairman from 1978 to 1981, Kwantung Army staff officer during World War II
  • Toshiyuki Takano, retired diplomat, currently executive advisor to Itochu
  • Tsuneharu Takeda, former Imperial prince and later ambassador to Bulgaria, worked at Itochu from 1967 to 2005 and served as head of its subsidiaries in Australia and New Zealand.


  1. ^ a b "伊藤忠商事(株) 企業情報". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Our Business". ITOCHU. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Global 500: Itochu". Fortune. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Itochu, CP to jointly invest 1 trillion yen in China's Citic Group". Nikkei. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Fukase, Atsuko (20 January 2015). "Thaw in Japan-China Business Ties? Itochu’s Citic Deal Towers Above Others". Wall Street Journal Japan Real Time. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "ITOCHU History". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d "ITOCHU Corporation History". International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 32. St. James Press, 2000. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Suzuki, Shinichi. The Japanese Main Bank System: A Transaction Cost Approach. p. 111. 
  9. ^ Banno, Junji (1997). The Political Economy of Japanese Society: The state of the market?. Oxford University Press. pp. 35–36. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  10. ^ a b McDonald, Hamish (2010). Ambani & Sons. Australia: Lotus-Roli. pp. 59, 102. ISBN 978-8174368140. 
  11. ^ a b "Annexure to Director's Report" (PDF). Reliance Industries Ltd., Annual Report 1991-92 (RIL). 1992. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  12. ^ Brull, Steven (14 November 1994). "Foreigners Help to Open Japan Media : Bullying Bureaucracy". New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  13. ^ Tolbert, Kathryn (4 June 1999). "Jobs for Life and Seniority Traditions Are Dropped for Western Models : Rules Change as Japan Inc. Downsizes". New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Hanai, Yuki (26 April 2014). "仕事って何 「任されたら必ず改善や」  (岡藤正広 伊藤忠商事社長)". Nihon Keizai Shimbun. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "ITOCHU Announces the Relocation of its Osaka Headquarters". ITOCHU Corporation. August 15, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Global Network> Japan". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Global Network> China". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Global Network > Asia". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Global Network: CIS". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  20. ^ "Global Network: Oceania". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  21. ^ "Global Network: Middle East". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  22. ^ "Global Network: Africa". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  23. ^ "Global Network: Europe". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  24. ^ "Global Network: North America". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  25. ^ "Global Network: Latin America". ITOCHU Corporation. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  26. ^ "Toshiba, Hitachi and ITOCHU Win Order for ITS Package for Vietnam's Expressway". ITOCHU Corporation. 18 March 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  27. ^ "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. 
  28. ^ "ITOCHU to Participate in PPP New Generation Rollingstock Project in Queensland, Australia". ITOCHU Corporation. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  29. ^ "ITOCHU Announces Conclusion of Loan Contract for Sarulla Geothermal IPP Project in Indonesia". ITOCHU Corporation. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  30. ^ Cite error: The named reference holstein was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  31. ^ "Corporate History". FamilyMart. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  32. ^ "Japan's Itochu to buy Dole Food businesses for $1.7 billion". Reuters. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  33. ^
  34. ^

External links