One of the world's largest corporations and one of Japan's leading general
trading companies. A key member of the industrial-financial Fuyo group.
Founded in 1858 and took its present form in 1949. Engages
mainly in trading, domestic and international, as well as construction
financing, insurance underwriting and property leasing. Headquarters
are in Tokyo.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, Ltd (now Panasonic Corp)
Founded in 1918 by Matsushita Konosuke, who achieved commercial
success making small batteries for bicycle lamps. By 1952 Matsushita had the highest
personal income in Japan. During the boom years of the 1950's
and 60's, the company produced and aggressively marketed electrical
goods for the mass market, achieving huge growth and expansion
both in Japan and overseas. Currently the largest manufacturers
of consumer electric and electronic products in the world. Products
are marketed under several names, of which Panasonic was chosen as the
company's new corporate name in October 2008 (others include Quasar, Technics
and National). The group includes 225 companies in 45 countries.
In November 2008, the company announced plans to make Sanyo a subsidiary the
following spring, creating Japan's largest electronics manufacturer.
Headquarters are in Kadoma, Osaka Prefecture.
Mazda Motor Corporation
One of Japan's largest automobile manufacturers.
Founded as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd, in 1920 as a manufacturer of
machine tools. Switched to car production with the Mazda-Go in 1931,
and produced weapons for the Japanese military throughout WWII. Known
in Japan as Matsuda, though its cars have always carried the brand Mazda.
In 1967 became the world's first carmaker
to manufacture cars with three types of engine: regular piston
engine, diesel engine and its newly developed rotary engine. Formerly
took its present name in 1984. Exports cars to over
120 countries and also produces cars in Michigan, USA at a wholly
owned subsidiary, and cars and trucks in 16 other countries. The
Hiroshima plant is one of the largest in the world, producing
over 700,000 units a year. Ford has had a large shareholding in the
company since 1979 and in rcent years, Mazda have incorporated Ford
engines into its new models. Financial struggles in the late 1990s have
been largely turned around and the company is enjoying the strongest sales
growth of all the major manufacturers. Company employs over 24,000 people
in western Japan. Headquarters are in Tokyo and Aki City, Hiroshima
The Mitsubishi keiretsu
Second largest of the prewar zaibatsu groupings. Mitsubishi, Ltd
controlled 209 companies by the end of World War II. Founded by
Iwasaki Yataro in the early 1870's, it made its early money from
shipping. Diversified into mining, money-exchanging and warehousing.
Acquired the Nagasaki shipyards in 1887, which later became a
main target for the atomic bomb.
Since the zaibatsu dissolution following World War II, the Mitsubishi
subsidiaries have been loosely grouped in a keiretsu. The holding
company was replaced by a president's club, the Friday Club.
At one time the largest company in the world. Japan's largest general trading
company, with offices in over 80 countries. Took its present name
in 1918. A global enterprise engaged in domestic and international
trading as well as areas like resource development, information
services, telecommunications, biotechnology and space technology.
Headquarters are in Tokyo.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
http://www.mitsubishielectric.com/ (US web site)
Incorporated in 1921, one of Japan's leading producers of electrical
and electronic equipment. Has production and sales bases in over
30 countries. Developed more than half of Japan's communication
and research satellites. A major product is large screen CRT (rear
projection) televisions. MEC held the record for the fastest
elevator in the world, in the 70-story Landmark Tower, Yokohama, until 2005,
when it was overtaken by Toshiba's
elevator in the Taipei 101 building in Taiwan. Headquarters are in Tokyo.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd (MHI)
The largest heavy machinery manufacturer in Japan, changed its
name from Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co, Ltd in 1934. Up to and during
World War II, produced over 10,000 Zero fighters and the battleship
Musashi. Currently also engaged in steel structure construction
and the production of consumer products such as air conditioners
and refrigerators. Headquarters are in Tokyo.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC)
Became independent from MHI in 1970. The third largest car manufacturer
in Japan until an admission in 2004 that management had been systematically covering
up vehicle defects for 25 years seriously damaged the company's reputation. A
dramatic drop in its stock price has since beenreversed and the company has returned to profit.
Also manufactures buses, trucks and parts. Its car models
have been awarded many prizes for excellence. Has cooperative
ventures with foreign carmakers such as Chrysler in the US and
Mercedes-Benz in Germany. Headquarters are in Tokyo.
Mitsubishi Trust & Banking Corporation
Leading Japanese trust bank, incorporated in 1927. Provides financial
services to member companies of the Mitsubishi
keiretsu. In 1991, the volume of the bank's funds was over 30 trillion
yen. In April 2001, joined with the Bank of
Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Nippon Trust Bank to form the
Mitsubishi-Tokyo Financial Group, which in turn merged with UFJ
in 2005 to form Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (below).
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is the world's largest financial services company ranked
by assets. Mitsubishi-Tokyo Financial Group was the second-biggest of the four so-called 'megabank' groups formed
in 2000-01, and made up of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi,
Mitsubishi Trust & Banking Corporation (below) and Nippon
Trust Bank. MTFG was the first of the nation's leading banks to repay the
public funds borrowed during the late 1990s. But in the poor economic
climate of the new century, MTFG joined other banks in laying
off large numbers of staff. The present company was formed on October 1, 2005
with the merger of MTFG and Osaka-based UFJ Holdings, which was Japan's
fourth-largest banking group. The group's main banking units, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi
and the troubled UFJ Bank, merged on January 1, 2006 to form
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.
The Mitsui keiretsu
Largest of the prewar zaibatsu groupings. Mitsui, Ltd controlled
273 companies by the end of World War II. The zaibatsu was built
on three main subsidiaries, Mitsui Banking, Mitsui Trading and
Mitsui Mining. The House of Mitsui was founded when Mitsui Takatoshi
opened a dry-goods store in Edo (now Tokyo) in 1673. Close ties
to the Tokugawa Shogunate until the end of the Edo Period
(1603~1868) helped the enterprise prosper. Subsequently, good
relations with the Meiji government helped the group maintain
dominance in many sectors and form its own zaibatsu.
Since the zaibatsu dissolution following World War II, the Mitsui
subsidiaries have been loosely grouped in a keiretsu. The holding
company was replaced by two president's clubs, the Monday Club
and the Second Thursday Club.
Mitsui & Co, Ltd
The fifth-largest company in the world (Fortune Global 500, 1999),
a general trading company established in 1876. Handles about 10
percent of Japan's foreign trade volume in such areas as metals,
machinery and oil as well as telecommunications and biotechnology.
Has over 700 subsidiaries worldwide. Headquarters are in Tokyo.
Mitsui Mutual Life Insurance Co
One of Japan's largest life insurance companies, incorporated
in 1927. Active overseas through a worldwide network. Headquarters
are in Tokyo.
Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd
Shipping and logistics company operating 350 vessels worldwide, including
gas tankers, general cargo ships and passenger vessels. One of Japan's
largest shipping companies which has also diversified
into other areas such as real estate and advertising. Has the
most extensive liner routes in the world, to about 300 ports in
over 100 countries. Also operates tramp and tanker services. Headquarters
are in Tokyo.
Japan's largest department store company, dating back to the origins
of the House of Mitsui in 1673. The main department store is still
in Nihombashi, Tokyo, where the first store was opened by Mitsui
Takatoshi, while the chain also includes Takashimaya,
Japan's largest department store. The present name was adopted
in 1928. 14 stores and 28 outlets have been opened around the
world in such cities as London and New York. Also involved in
golf course development. First listed its stock in 1949 and paid
dividends every year until financial difficulties caused major
restructuring in 1999, including selling its 12% stake in US jeweler
Tiffany & Co. Headquarters are in Tokyo.
Mizuho Financial Group
http://www.mizuho-sc.com/english/index.html (Mizuho Securities)
http://www.mizuho-fg.co.jp/english/ (Mizuho Trust and Banking)
Formed from a merger of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Fuji Bank
and the Industrial Bank of Japan, Mizuho Holdings also
included Mizuho Securities and Mizuho Trust and Banking. Mizuho Bank was formed on April 1, 2002
and the group as a whole is the second-largest financial services company in Japan and one of the three so-called Japanese
"megabanks" (along with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo
Mitsui Financial Group). Headquarters are in Tokyo.