Mitsui & Co.

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

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
TypePublic (KK)
TYO: 8031
TOPIX Core 30 Component
IndustryTrading Companies
FoundedJuly 25, 1947; 74 years ago (1947-07-25)
FounderTakashi Masuda, Tatsuzo Minakami
Headquarters2-1, Otemachi 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8631, Japan, ,
Area served
132 Offices in 64 Countries / Regions (2020)
Key people
Tatsuo Yasunaga
Kenichi Hori
(President and CEO)
  • Iron & steel products
  • Mineral & metal resources
  • Infrastructure projects
  • Chemicals
  • Energy
  • Food Products & Services
  • Consumer Services
  • IT & Communication Business
RevenueYen 8,10,235 million (2021)
Yen 450,202 million (2021)
Yen 335,458 million (2021)
Number of employees
5,676 (Consolidated:45,624) (2020)
Subsidiaries280 Subsidiaries, 234 Equity Accounted Investees (2021)


Former headquarters (demolished in 2015)

The company was 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 expanding business owned by Japanese citizens.[clarification needed] By the end of World War II, it became a dominant trading giant, but was dissolved by the order of GHQ.[1]

The current Mitsui & Co. was established in 1947 as Daiichi Bussan Kaisha, Ltd. (First Bussan Corporation Ltd). In 1959, it merged with several other trading companies and changed its name to Mitsui & Co., Ltd.[2]

During Japan's period of rapid postwar economic growth, the firm was a key player in several major natural resources projects. 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.[2]

Its 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.[3]

Berkshire Hathaway acquired over 5% of the stock in the company, along with four other Japanese trading houses, over the 12-month period ending in August 2020.[4]

Business areasEdit

Mitsui engages in six major business areas:[5]

  • Energy: Upstream development and trading in oil and gas, the firm's's largest line of business, accounting for over half of its consolidated EBITDA and net earnings in the first half of fiscal year 2015.[6] 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.[7]
  • Metals: Development and trading with a focus on iron ore and steel. This business accounts for about a quarter of consolidated EBITDA and net earnings.[6] 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.[8]
  • Chemicals: 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: 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.[7]
  • Information and Corporate Development: information technology, finance and logistics.

Recent activitiesEdit


  1. ^ Americans as proconsuls : United States military government in Germany and Japan, 1944-1952. Wolfe, Robert, 1921-. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. 1984. pp. 148–149. ISBN 0809311151. OCLC 9465314.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ a b "History". Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Archived from the original on 6 May 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  3. ^ Kennedy, Simon (May 20, 2011). "BP settles with Mitsui arm over Macondo spill". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
  4. ^ "Warren Buffett takes 5% stake in 5 Japanese trading companies". Nikkei Asian Review. 2020-08-31. Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  5. ^ "Six business areas". Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Consolidated Financial Results" (PDF). Mitsui & Co. 6 November 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  7. ^ a b Fukase, Atsuko (30 January 2015). "Mitsui Remains Focused on Resources". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  8. ^ Iwata, Mari (9 December 2014). "Mitsui to Buy Into Some Vale Operations in Mozambique". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 June 2015.

External linksEdit