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Get to know our story! Nippon Shokubai

Challenging Spirit and Management Capabilities

Pioneering spirit, vision, and the legacy of the passionate entrepreneur

Nippon Shokubai has been growing for more than 70 years. Carrying on the spirit of taking on visionary challenges that has been passed down by our second president, Taizo Yatagai, known as “the passionate entrepreneur,”* we have created unprecedented value using technologies that no other company possesses. The cornerstone of our success is Taizo Yatagai's decision to expand into the petrochemical industry.
Eschewing the technologies of U.S. forerunners, Nippon Shokubai pursued research and development focused on its proprietary technologies. These efforts bore fruit in 1959 when the Kawasaki Plant became the first in Japan to commercially produce ethylene oxide using home-grown technology. * Taizo Yatagai is the name of the main character in Hono-o no Keieisha ("The Passionate Entrepreneur"), a novel by Ryo Takasugi based on the Nippon Shokubai president's experiences in business.

Photo at time of Nippon Shokubai founding
Himeji Plant, June 1961
Kawasaki Plant, June 1959

Continued Growth Supported by Management that Brings Out Strengths

When the global financial crisis of 2008 hit, many companies had to cut back on capital investments. Instead, looking to the trends that would emerge after the crisis, at Nippon Shokubai we chose to expand our acrylic acid and SAP manufacturing facilities. This strategy ensured that we were able to continue supplying our customers with the products they needed. The bold legacy of the Company founders lives on at Nippon Shokubai today.

The legacy of a pioneering spirit backed by vision and foresight has given Nippon Shokubai management the tools to bolster the R&D capabilities that are our strength and take advantage of the benefits that come with being an independent company with no corporate group affiliation in forging relationships with a wide spectrum of customers. In these ways, continued growth has been supported by management leaders who worked to fully realize our comprehensive power, which is a combination of abilities in research and development, production technology, and marketing. This legacy is the source of Nippon Shokubai's strengths today.

Member of the Board, President Yujiro Goto*, Member of the Board, Senior Managing Executive Officer Koichiro Yamada*, Member of the Board, Managing Executive Officer Jiro Iriguchi, Member of the Board, Managing Executive Officer Kazuhiro Noda, Member of the Board, Managing Executive Officer Kuniaki Takagi, Member of the Board (outside director) Shinji Hasebe, Member of the Board (outside director) Tetsuo Setoguchi, Member of the Board (outside director) Miyuki Sakurai *Representative

Growing global reach

The legacy embodied by our executives applies to Nippon Shokubai overseas development, as well. We began the overseas expansion of our core SAP and acrylic acid businesses in 1988, establishing a U.S. SAP production base in Tennessee. Focused on meeting the needs of our customers around the world, we have since expanded our operations to ensure stable global-wide supplies, with production units today in Japan, the U.S., Belgium, China, Indonesia, and Singapore.

World map of Nippon Shokubai acrylic acid and SAP facilities

Rapidly Changing World and Nippon Shokubai

Our world is on the precipice of significant change through technological innovations in AI and IoT, the shift to electric cars, and the heightened interest in health and medicine.
In situations like these, our far-seeing challenging spirit will be tested. How will Nippon Shokubai steer through these changing times?
In response to these changes in the world, Nippon Shokubai decided to focus on the target areas of ICT, energy & environment, and life sciences. The details are available in chapter 4 where we introduce our midterm business plan.

Target sectors ICT Energy & Environment Life Sciences

This is because we saw these three areas as the areas Nippon Shokubai must pursue based on the scale of the social issue, market needs, and our strengths.

Chapter 4 What is Nippon Shokubai's growth strategy?