Mitsubishi Group Type Private Industry Conglomerate Founded 1870 Founder(s) Yataro Iwasaki Headquarters Tokyo, Japan Area served Worldwide Products Mining, shipbuilding, telecom, financial services, insurance, electronics, automotive, construction, heavy industries, oil and gas, real estate, foods and beverages, chemicals, steel, aviation and others Revenue US$ 248.6 Billion (2010) Profit US$ 7.2 Billion (2010) Employees 350,000 (2010) Subsidiaries List of subsidiaries Website Mitsubishi.com
The Mitsubishi Group (三菱グループ, Mitsubishi Gurūpu), Mitsubishi Group of Companies, or Mitsubishi Companies is a Japanese multinational conglomerate company that consists of a range of autonomous businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy. The Mitsubishi group of companies form a loose entity, the Mitsubishi Keiretsu, which is often referenced in Japanese and US media and official reports; in general these companies all descend from the zaibatsu of the same name. The top 25 companies are also members of the Mitsubishi Kin'yōkai, or "Friday Club", and meet monthly. The Mitsubishi.com Committee is meant to facilitate communication and access of the brand through a portal web site.
The Mitsubishi company was first established as a shipping firm by Yatarō Iwasaki (1834–1885) in 1870. In 1873, its name was changed to Mitsubishi Shokai . The name Mitsubishi (三菱 consists of two parts: "mitsu" meaning "three" and "hishi" (which becomes "bishi" under rendaku) meaning "water caltrop" (also called "water chestnut"), and hence "rhombus", which is reflected in the company's famous logo. It is also translated as "three diamonds".
Mitsubishi had been established in 1870, two years after the Meiji Restoration, with shipping as its core business. Its diversification was mostly into related fields. It entered into coal-mining to gain the coal needed for ships, bought a shipbuilding yard from the government to repair the ships it used, founded an iron mill to supply iron to the shipbuilding yard, started a marine insurance business to cater for its shipping business, and so forth. Later, the managerial resources and technological capabilities acquired through the operation of shipbuilding were utilized to expand the business further into the manufacture of aircraft and equipment. Similarly, the experience of overseas shipping led the firm to enter into a trading business.
The company bought into coal mining in 1881 by acquiring the Takashima mine and Hashima Island in 1890, using the production to fuel their extensive steamship fleet. They also diversified into shipbuilding, banking, insurance, warehousing, and trade. Later diversification carried the organization into such sectors as paper, steel, glass, electrical equipment, aircraft, oil, and real estate. As Mitsubishi built a broadly based conglomerate, it played a central role in the modernization of Japanese industry.
The merchant fleet entered into a period of diversification that would eventually result in the creation of three entities:
- Mitsubishi Bank (now a part of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group) was founded in 1919. After its mergers with the Bank of Tokyo in 1996, and UFJ Holdings in 2004, this became Japan's largest bank.
- Mitsubishi Corporation, founded in 1950, Japan's largest general trading company
- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which includes these industrial companies.
World War II
During the Second World War, Mitsubishi manufactured aircraft under the direction of Jiro Horikoshi. The Mitsubishi A6M ("Zero") was a primary Japanese naval fighter in World War II. It was used by Imperial Japanese Navy pilots throughout the war, including in kamikaze attacks during the later stages. Allied pilots were astounded by its maneuverability, and it was very successful in combat until the Allies devised tactics to utilize their advantage in firepower and diving speed.
Mitsubishi made use of forced labor during this time period. Laborers included allied POWs, as well as Chinese and Korean citizens. In the post-war period, lawsuits and demands for compensations were presented against the Mitsubishi Corporation, in particular by former Chinese slave laborers.
1945 to present
Mitsubishi participated in Japan's unprecedented economic growth of the 1950s and 1960s. For example, as Japan modernized its energy and materials industries, the Mitsubishi companies created Mitsubishi Petrochemical, Mitsubishi Atomic Power Industries, Mitsubishi Liquefied Petroleum Gas, and Mitsubishi Petroleum Development.
The traditional Mitsubishi emphasis on technological development was in new ventures in such fields as space development, aviation, ocean development, data communications, computers, and semiconductors. Mitsubishi companies also were active in consumer goods and services.
In 1970, Mitsubishi companies established the Mitsubishi Foundation to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the founding of the first Mitsubishi company. The companies also individually maintain charitable foundations. Mitsubishi pavilions have been highlights of expositions in Japan since EXPO'70 in Osaka in 1970s to 1980s.
As of 2007, Mitsubishi Corporation, a member of the Mitsubishi Group, is Japan's largest general trading company (sogo shosha) with over 200 bases of operations in approximately 80 countries worldwide. Together with its over 500 group companies, Mitsubishi employs a multinational workforce of approximately 54,000 people. Mitsubishi has long been engaged in business with customers around the world in many industries, including energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, food and general merchandise.
Mitsubishi Motors reached 1.3 million cars of total production in 2007.
- Mitashi hokayamoto Inc
- Asahi Glass Co.
- Astro Holdings Sdn Bhd
- The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.
- Kirin Brewery Co., Ltd.
- Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company
- Mitsubishi Corporation
- Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation
- Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
- Mitsubishi Estate Co.
- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
- Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (MMC)
- Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation
- Mitsubishi Motors (Automobile manufacturing and sales)
- Mitsubishi Paper Mills, Ltd.
- Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc.
- Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd.
- Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc.
- Mitsubishi Shindoh Co., Ltd.
- Mitsubishi Steel Mfg. Co., Ltd.
- MSSC Inc.
- Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (part of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group)
- Mitsubishi UFJ Securities
- Nikon Corporation
- Nippon Oil Corporation
- NYK Line (Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha)
- P.S. Mitsubishi Construction Co., Ltd.
- Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.
These companies are members of the Mitsubishi Kinyokai (or Friday Club), and meet monthly.
- Atami Yowado
- Chitose Kosan Co., Ltd.
- Dai Nippon Toryo Co., Ltd.
- The Dia Foundation for Research on Ageing Societies
- Diamond Family Club
- Koiwai Noboku Kaisha, Ltd.
- LEOC JAPAN Co., Ltd.
- Marunouchi Yorozu Corp.
- Meiwa Corporation
- Mitsubishi C&C Research Association
- Mitsubishi Club
- Mitsubishi Corporate Name and Trademark Committee
- Mitsubishi Economic Research Institute
- Mitsubishi Electric Automation - MEAU
- The Mitsubishi Foundation
- Mitsubishi Kinyokai
- Mitsubishi Marketing Association
- Mitsubishi Motors North America
- Mitsubishi Public Affairs Committee
- The Mitsubishi Yowakai Foundation
- MT Insurance Service Co., Ltd.
- Seikadō Bunko Art Museum
- Shonan Country Club
- Sotsu Corporation
- The Toyo Bunko
- Seikei University
- ^ Mitsubishi.com Committee
- ^ The Mitsubishi Mark
- ^ Odagiri, Hiroyuki (1996). Technology and Industrial Development in Japan. Oxford University Press. pp. 76. ISBN 0-19-828802-6.
- ^ Discovery Channel: World War II in Colour
- ^ ZNet |Japan | Mitsubishi, Historical Revisionism and Japanese Corporate Resistance to Chinese Forced Labor Redress
- ^ Hastings, Max (2007). Retribution. New York: Vintage. p. 413. ISBN 978-0-307-27536-3.
- Portal website for Mitsubishi companies
- Mitsubishi Canada
- Mitsubishi Public Affairs Committee
- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. India
- Mitsubishi companies grouped at OpenCorporates
Members of Mitsubishi Public Affairs CommitteeMembers of Mitsubishi Kinyokai are bolded. Foods and beveragesKirin Holdings Pulp, papers and fibers ConstructionP.S. Mitsubishi Construction Chemicals Glass and ceramics Petroleum and nuclear powerNippon Oil Group - Nippon Oil - Mitsubishi Nuclear Fuel SteelMitsubishi Steel Mfg Non-ferrous metals MachineryMitsubishi Kakoki - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - Caterpillar Japan - Toyo Engineering Works Automobiles Electrical equipment Precision equipmentNikon - Mitsubishi Precision TradingMitsubishi Corporation - Astomos Energy - Ryoshoku Finance Insurance Real estate Transport and warehousing Information and communicationMitsubishi Research Institute - Mitsubishi Space Software - IT FrontierMitsubishi zaibatsu - Iwasaki Yataro - Iwasaki family - Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens Japan's Zaibatsu, Keiretsu, and modern Groups Big 4 Zaibatsu (preceding World War II)Mitsubishi • Sumitomo • Mitsui • Yasuda Second tier zaibatsu (preceding WWII) Big 6 Keiretsu (until shortly after Japan bubble) Current Groups Transitionary KeiretsuUFJ Group Lesser Unaffiliated Groups
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