Ajinomoto Co, Inc
One of the world's leading producers of amino acids, pharmaceuticals
and fine chemicals. Manufactures and distributes a wide range
of food products in Japan. The company name is synonymous with
monosodium glutamate seasoning (Aji-no-moto brand), which was
the first product launched in 1909. Headquarters are in Tokyo.
ANA (All Nippon Airways)
Japan's second-largest airline, incorporated in 1952. Took its
current name in 1958 following a merger between the Nippon Helicopter
Transport Co and Far East Airlines. Mostly domestic flights to
around 50 destinations but also operates international routes
to almost 50 cities worldwide. Also provides cargo services and
operates hotels and leisure facilties. In October 1999, ANA joined
Star Alliance, the world's largest airline group. The group includes
United Airlines, Air Canada and Lufthansa. Headquarters are in
Aozora Bank (formerly Nippon Credit Bank, Ltd)
One of the three long-term credit banks established to encourage
the reirth of industry in the postwar period. Incorporated as
the Japan Real Estate Bank in 1957 and changed its name in 1977.
Has some 30 domestic offices and branches as well as 6 subsidiaries
overseas. Nationalised in 1998, bank officials entered talks in
October 1999 with candidates for the purchase of the bank, which
was finally taken over by a group made up of Softbank,
Orix Corp. and Tokyo Marine and Fire Insurance Co Ltd. The bank
was relaunched under its new name a year later ("aozora" means
"blue sky" in Japanese). Headquarters are in Tokyo.
Asahi Bank, Ltd (now part of Resona Holdings, Inc)
http://www.resona-gr.co.jp/ (Resona Group. Japanese only)
Formed in 1991 through the merger of the Kyowa Bank and the Saitama
Bank and renamed in 1992. Is more focused on individual borrowers
than other city banks. Business is mostly in the Tokyo area. In
October 1999, announced plans to form a holding company with Sanwa
Bank and Tokai Bank, with which it had an alliance since the previous
year. Asahi Bank pulled out of the plan the following June. In March 2002,
joined the Daiwa Bank Holdings group, making it Japan's fifth largest.
Merged the following year under the name Resona Holdings, Inc.
Bank of Japan
Japan's central bank, established in 1882 mainly to help curb
inflation. This and control of the value of the yen remain key
functions. Issues bank notes and acts as treasurer to the government.
Implements monetary policy such as changes in lending rates and
changes in reserve requirements. Headquarters are in Tokyo.
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (now Mitsubishi
UFJ Financial Group Inc)
The world's No.1 bank in terms of assets. The Bank of Tokyo, incorporated in 1946, was Japan's only specialized
foreign exchange bank with about two-thirds of its staff (including
subsidiaries) employed overseas. Played an important part in Japan's
economic expansion overseas from the 1950's. Merged with Mitsubishi
Bank (founded as the Mitsubishi Exchange Office in 1880) to form
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. The bank's domestic network consisted of approximately 350
branches. The BTM Group had more than 400 offices located in major
financial and commercial centers in some 45 countries. Unusually
for a Japanese bank, almost 50 percent of business was overseas and
it was the only Japanese financial institution listed on the New York
Stock Exchange. As a result of deregulation, the bank teamed
up with other members of the Mitsubishi group to enter insurance,
brokerage and investment banking fields. In April 2001, joined with
Mitsubishi Trust and Banking Co and Nippon Trust Bank to form
the Mitsubishi-Tokyo Financial Group, which in turn merged with the
troubled UFG Holdings on January 1 2006 to form Mitsubishi
UFJ Financial Group Inc. Headquarters are in Tokyo.
Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Ltd (now part of Mizuho Financial Group)
Dai-Ichi Bank was Japan's first state bank, established in 1873.
Was originally empowered to issue bank notes, until the Bank of
Japan assumed this function in 1883. In 1971, it merged with Nippon
Kangyo Bank, Ltd to form the largest commercial bank in Japan.
The only bank with branches in every prefecture in Japan, DKB's
network of almost 400 branches was visited by over 800,000 people
a day. DKB was ranked fourth in the world in terms of total assets
in March 1997 (over $450 billion). In 1998, DKB and Nomura
Securities were severely punished by government regulators for making payoffs
to a corporate racketeer (sokaiya). In 2002, DKB was consolidated with the
Industrial Bank of Japan and Fuji Bank
to form the Mizuho Financial Group, Japan's
second-largest bank. Headquarters are in Tokyo.
Dai-Ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co
Japan's first life insurance company, currently No.2 in the country
and the world. Incorporated in 1902, the company has some 2,000
unit offices, 100 district offices and 100 branches throughout
Japan. Part of a worldwide network for pooling insurance for multinational
corporations and overseas investment programs. Headquarters are
Daiwa Securities SMBC
One of Japan's biggest securities firms, founded in 1902 and incorporated
in 1943. Engaged in underwriting, brokerage and trading. Provides
securities and other financial services worldwide. Became the
first listed holding company in Japan in April, 1999.
Entered a strategic alliance with Sumitomo Bank
in April 1999 and is now part of the Sumitomo
Mitsui Financial Group. Headquarters are in Tokyo.
Japan's largest advertising agency, founded in 1901 and took its
present name in 1987. Ranked the No.1 advertising agency brand
in the world. Produced the first newspaper advertisements and TV
commercial in Japan. Coordinated services for the 1984 Olympic
Games in Los Angeles and the 1988 games in Seoul. Handles advertising
for most large corporations in Japan. Has invested heavily in
television companies and wields considerable power on their boards
of directors. Also carries out market research and produces commercials.
Headquarters are in Tokyo.
Fuji Bank, Ltd (formerly Yasuda Bank, now part of Mizuho Financial Group)
Founded by Yasuda Zenjiro in 1864 as a money-exchange business
that became Yasuda Bank in 1880. Became Fuji Bank in 1948, when
it held the largest deposits of any bank in Japan. Opened its
first overseas branch in London in 1952 and became the first Japanese
bank listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1987. Had some 300
domestic branches but less than 50 abroad following closures
in the US. Services included commercial and investment banking,
leasing and securities-related business. Japan's sixth-largest
bank, in 2002, consolidated with the Industrial Bank of
Japan and Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank to form the
Mizuho Financial Group, Japan's
second-largest bank. Corporate headquarters are in Tokyo.
Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd
http://www.subaru.com/ (Subaru of America)
Formed from several companies of the former Airplane Research
Institute in 1955, out of which came the famous WWII Zero fighter. Manufactures cars, buses and light aircraft.
Best known for its cars sold under the brand name Subaru (also
has a tie-up with Isuzu). Introduced Japan's first mass-produced front-wheel drive car,
the Subaru 1000, in 1964 and the world's first mass produced passenger
car-style 4-wheel drive vehicle, the Subaru 4WD Station Wagon,
in 1972. In 1977, became the first carmaker to produce models
which cleared Japan's 1978 emission standards - the severest in
the world. Employs about 15,000 people worldwide. Headquarters are in Tokyo.
Fuji Photo Film Co, Ltd
http://home.fujifilm.com/index.html (world wide)
Incorporated in 1934 from the photo film division of Dai-Nippon
Celluloid Co. Expanded into cameras in 1948, magnetic tape in
1960 and more recently, video tape and digital products. Formed
Fuji Xerox Ltd in 1962 with Rank Xerox of the UK. Largest
manufacturer of consumer camera film in Japan. Developed the compact
24mm APS (advanced photo system) with four other companies in 1996.
Since 1982 Fuji is one of the main sponsors of the FIFA World Cup. Most Steven
Spielberg movies are shot on Fuji stock film. Headquarters
are in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture.
Evolved from the telecommunications division of Fuji Electric
Co, Ltd in 1935. Manufactures and sells software & services,
computing & communications platforms, electronic devices. Released
Japan's first computer, the FACOM 100, in 1954. The Fujitsu
Group includes over 500 companies and almost 200,000 employees
in over 100 countries. Headquarters are in Tokyo.