Japan prides itself in its well-developed free-market economy. Even though the 2008 crisis marked the beginning of the not-so-bright period for the country’s economic situation, further aggravated by a series of earthquakes, Japan is still standing strong and not surrendering its positions to no other. As of 2019, the country ranked 3rd by nominal gross domestic product, yet it slips to the 4th place once the GDP is measured in terms of PPP.
Full of contrasts all worthy of admiration, Japan combines with excellence one-of-a-kind landscapes with its industrial regions. It surprises by such factors as being the least export-dependent country among the G7, yet one of the largest automobile-manufacturing countries in the world. It records relatively low levels of FDI while managing to maintain the status of one of the largest creditor nations.
With this and a lot more of Japan’s peculiarities in mind, we decided to compile this list of top 100 companies in Japan by sales, and it further emphasizes the versatility of the country’s economy’s sides.
*All figures are in USD. B: Billions of USD
Toyota Motor Corporation (further Toyota) starts our top 100 companies in Japan by sales in 2019 with the imposing figure of $280.5B. Toyota is an esteemed automotive manufacturer - the largest one at home - headquartered in Aichi. Today, many of the Toyota models are deemed as one of the most practical cars around thanks to the hard work put in starting with the company’s foundation in 1924. In addition to the perceived practicality, Toyota is the global market leader of hybrid electric vehicles, which are paving the way to a greener environment.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (further Honda) is a multinational conglomerate best-known as a producer of automobiles, motorcycles, and different equipment. Founded in 1946 as a long-life dream of a passionate mechanic, Honda has positioned itself quite proudly; from piston rings contracts to being the largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines by volume. The company is also an important force in the commitment to electric and alternative fuels exploring multiple economic and bio-friendly options. In 2019, Honda’s efforts amounted to $142.4B in sales.
Mitsubishi Group (further Mitsubishi) is a conglomerate doing business in various industries. While they are technically under the same banner and participate in business cooperation, the companies are formally independent. The main ones are MUFG Bank, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. It started out as a shipping firm and diversified as needed to sustain its operations - coal-mining for fuel, shipyard for repairs, iron mill for shipyard supply, and so on. In 2019, the “three diamonds” sales amounted to $140.8B.
Japan Post Holdings Co., Ltd. (further Japan Post) is a conglomerate with headquarters in Tokyo mainly dealing in postal and logistics business with a side of finance, banking, and insurance. It is a relatively new company, founded in 2006, but has developed a swift momentum ranking it 4th - $112.3B in sales - on our top 100 list. The group is made up of four main divisions: Japan Post, Japan Post Bank, Japan Post Insurance, Toll Group. They are the pioneers of Japan Post Holdings success.
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (further NTT) comes in number five on the largest publicly traded companies in Japan that also reported $109.6B in sales as of 2019. NTT is a telecommunications company with the main office in Tokyo. At first, it was a state monopoly aimed at conquering the Japanese telecommunication systems which were operated by AT&T during the Occupation of Japan. It was later privatized to promote competition, but it remains an oligopoly on landlines. The five major companies leading on are: NTT East, NTT West, NTT Communications, NTT Docomo, and NTT Data.
Itochu Corporation (further Itochu) is one of the largest so-called sogo shosha - companies trading a variety of products. What stands out is that its success is owed to the efficient management of business operations of textiles in China instead of being a descendent of a zaibatsu group. The business began in 1858 with door-to-door selling of linen followed by the opening of a drapery store. Its six major operational divisions have made sales worth $103.1B in 2019.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (further Nissan) is yet another Japanese automobile powerhouse based in Yokohama. It was officially founded in 1933, but it all started with Kaishinsha Motor Car Work and their first car - DAT. Nissan is also part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, which has been a fruitful relationship in terms of business and management. The alliance ranks 3rd in the biggest automakers in the world, with Volkswagen Group and Toyota shortly ahead. In 2019, Nissan Motor reported $96.3B in sales.
ENEOS Holdings, Inc. (further Eneos) is the largest oil and gas corporation in Japan operating quite the number of companies. It was established in 2010 through the joint share transfer by Nippon Oil Corporation and Nippon Mining Holdings, Inc. as such its products are fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and metals. Eneos’ overseas operations have reached countries on all the continents. In 2019, the company’s transactions generated $95.5B in sales.
SoftBank Group Corp. (further SoftBank) is a conglomerate holding company with the main office in Tokyo. As most holding companies, it owns multiple stakes in various technology, energy, and financial oriented businesses. SoftBank is also in charge of Vision Fund, the world’s largest technology-focused venture capital fund. The company was founded in 1981 by the 24-year-old software distributor, Masayoshi Son. Under his leadership they became valued at $3 billion 13 years later as the largest publisher of computer and technology magazines. As for 2019, Softbank piled up $87.4B in sales.
Hitachi, Ltd. (further Hitachi) is a multinational conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo. It is the parent company of the Hitachi Group and formed part of the Nissan zaibatsu. Hitachi was started in 1910 and invented Japan’s first 4-kilowatt induction motor. The conglomerate wide industries pool is supported by ten business segments from digital media and consumer products to defense systems. In 2019, Hitachi reached the sales mark of $82.9B.
Sony Corporation (further Sony) is a multinational conglomerate with the main office in Tokyo. Sony is the largest video game console company and second-largest video game publisher - in direct competition with Microsoft’s XBOX - thus the joy of gamers around the world. On other fronts, it leads the charge as a record company, comprehensive media company, and consumer and professional electronic products. It was rightfully dubbed as a “corporate octopus” for wide-reaching ventures away from its core businesses. All in all, 2019 has brought Sony $79.2B in sales.
ÆON Co., Ltd. (further Aeon) is a company operating in the management of its group companies in regards to supermarkets and shopping centres. It was founded in 1758 and is headquartered in Chiba. Aeon operates through the following segments: General Merchandise Store, Supermarket, Health and Wellness, Financial Services, Development, Services and Specialty Store, International, and Other. In 2019, Aeon scored $78.9B in sales.
Panasonic Corporation (further Panasonic) is an electronics company with the main office in Osaka. It was founded in 1918 with the first product being duplex lamp sockets. But has since widened its product portfolio and has reached into rechargeable batteries, automotive and avionic systems, home renovation and construction with the list going on. Additionally, they have provided sports sponsorships and somewhat invested in autoracing. Their effort, green electronic commitment and workplace efficiency has netted $70.4B in sales in 2019.
Mitsui Group (further Mitsui) is one of the largest corporate groups in Japan and the world. The major companies comprising the group can be categorized under financial services, real estate, retail, shipping, logistics among the most prominent. Mitsui was formally founded in 1876, but its origins go back to Mitsui Takatoshi, the fourth son of a miso and pawnshop business owner. In 2019, the Group has made $65.5B in sales.
Marubeni Corporation (further Marubeni) is a general trading company headquartered in Tokyo. The business was established in 1918 as a separate entity sales division of Itochu. 3 years later a merger between Iotchu Shoten and Itoh Chobei Shoten led to the creation of Marubeni Shoten, Ltd. Initially, it was a textile trading firm but had quickly broadened its goods peddling. Marubeni comprises five business segments: Food & Consumer, Chemical & Forest, Energy & Metal, Power Projects & Plant, Transportation & Industrial. In 2019, the corporation’s transactions brought $63.6B in sales.
The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited (further Dai-ichi) is a company dealing in insurance. On a local level, it ranks third-largest life insurer when accounting for revenue. It was founded in 1902 and has remained a mutual insurance company until 2009. While the company operates in the United States, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Thailand, the home market remains the most impactful with the main earner being insurance premiums. In 2019, Dai-ichi reported $62.6B in sales.
Toyota Tsusho Corporation (further Tsusho) is a trading company and a member of the top ranker of our top 100 companies in Japan by sales in 2019 - Toyota Group. Tsuho’s worldwide presence is the result of a well-maintained network of over 150 offices and 900 subsidiaries and affiliates. Its main goal is the proper support of Toyota Motor’s automobile division and other members of Toyota Group. However, Tsusho’s business can’t just be abridged to a support role. The company operates in industrial, commercial, and consumer sectors. By the end of 2019, Tsusho reported sales that amounted to $61.6B.
Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd. (further Seven-i) is a retail group with the main office in Tokyo. It operates under various formats including department stores, superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants. Additionally, Seven-i provides financial services. The holdings company was established in 2005 as the parent of two subsidiaries and Denny’s Japan family restaurants. Eventually, it expanded to 6 subsidiaries, and by the end of the year made $61B in sales thus ranking number 18 on our top 100 companies in Japan by sales in 2019.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (further UFJ) is a bank holding and financial services company. As the name implies, it is part of the Mitsubishi Group and ranks tenth largest bank by total assets. The company was founded in 2005 with the merger of Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group (MTFG) and UFJ Holdings. The origins of the financial group go back to the merger of The Bank of Tokyo, former Yokohama Specie Bank, and Mitsubishi Bank founded by a samurai. All in all, 2019 brought in $60.1B in sales.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Incorporated (further TEPCO) is an electric utility holding company supplying users in the Yamanashi Prefecture and Shizuoka Prefecture. The main office is located in Tokyo with two international branches in Washington and London. The majority owner is the Government of Japan (54.69%) through the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation. The company was founded in 1951 at the behest of U.S./Allied occupation forces which is also why the business model resembles the United States’ electricity industry. For 2019, TEPCO reported $58.9B in sales.
Nippon Steel Corporation (further Nippon Steel) is, well the name gives it away, a steel producer company and the world’s third-largest at that when looking at volume. Nippon Steel originates from the merger of two behemoths, Yawata Iron & Steel and Fuji Iron & Steel. Currently, the corporation operates three business segments: Engineering, Materials, and Chemical. Though history has put forward some harsh years for Nippon Steel, in 2019 sales amounted to $55.7B.
Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. (further Idemitsu) is an oil and gas as such it owns and operates units that ensure upstream, midstream, and downstream operations. Its product portfolio can be summarized to production of oil, petroleum, petrochemicals, and fuel. It was founded in 1911 as a vendor of lubricant oil for Nippon Oil. In terms of refinery throughput, it ranks second, after Nippon Oil, but that has not been an obstacle to accumulate $51.8B in sales at the end of 2019.
MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, Inc. (further MS&AD) is an insurance holding company. The Group emerged from the former Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group Holdings which merged with the insurance companies Aioi Insurance Co. Ltd. and Nissay Dowa General Insurance. MS&AD operates in more than 40 countries and is a prominent player in the domestic market. The entire Group houses the effort of over 40,000 employees which have immensely contributed to $50.6B in sales in 2019.
Sumitomo Corporation is one of the biggest general trading companies, with quite an appetizingly big diversity. The company was incorporated in 1919 and is an important member of the Sumitomo Group. The origins of the Sumitomo Group weave back to a 17th-century book and medicine shop in Kyoto. Today, under its flag there are 24 subsidiaries willing to contribute their best. In 2019, Sumitomo Corporation’s sales amounted to $49.9B.
Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc. (further Tokio Marine Holdings) is an insurance holding company with the main office in Tokyo. It is the largest property and casualty insurance group in Japan by revenue and is the parent company for the Tokio Marine Group. Tokio Marine Holdings’ core business revolves around the management of all types of insurance companies abiding the Insurance Business Law of Japan. They are also a part of the Mitsubishi Keiretsu. In 2019, Tokio Marine Holdings reported $48.5 in sales.
SMBC (Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation) Group is an institution preoccupied with banking and financial services and its main offices are in Tokyo. The Group operates in retail, corporate, and investment banking segment on a global scale by providing financial commodities to a diverse lot of clients. SMBC Group is present in over 40 countries and ranks twelfth biggest bank in terms of total assets. Domestically, the group takes on the role of one of Japanese megabanks together with MUFJ Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group. At the end of 2019, the Group reached $48.4B in sales.
KDDI Corporation (further KDDI) is a telecommunications operator with the main office in Tokyo. The company provides fixed and mobile telephony, internet services, and digital television services through various brands. KDDI formed in 2000 by the merger of three telecom companies: DDI Corp., KDD Corp., and Ido Corp. Aided by the powerful impact on the home market, KDDI has several subsidiaries aiming to bring the same to other regions. All in all, 2019 brought to KDDI’s table $47.8B in sales.
DENSO Corporation (further DENSO) is a global automotive components manufacturer with the main office in Aichi Prefecture. DENSO was founded in 1949 under the name of Nippon Denso Co, Ltd. right after becoming independent from Toyota Motors. The company produces various auto parts with the most prominent ones being the sales of thermal systems, powertrain control systems, and electronic systems. At the end of 2019, DENSO achieved $47.4B in sales.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (further MELCO) is a company oriented towards the production of electronics and electrical equipment. Headquartered in Tokyo, it is one of the valuable companies for Mitsubishi’s performance. On an international level, the network is maintained by the respective branches North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. MELCO was founded in 1921 as a spin-off from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and later Mitsubishi Shipbuilding. But a quick reaction to diversification has led it to become a major electronics company. As the 2019 fiscal line was drawing near, MELCO managed $41.3B in sales.
Daiwa House Industry Co, Ltd. is Japan’s largest homebuilder specializing in prefabricated houses but not limited to. Factories, shopping centres, health care facilities, recreational amenities are also among the services provided by Daiwa House. Moreover, the company is also a prominent owner and operator of freight logistics centres, managing over 250 properties. With over 44,900 employees under Daiwa House's banner, they pulled off $40B in sales in 2019.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (further MHI) is an engineering, electrical equipment and electronics company situated in Tokyo. MHI is also part of the core companies of the Mitsubishi Group. Four divisions make up MHI’s business segment: Marine Vessel and Ocean, Power Engine, Machinery and Iron Structure, Aviation and Space Medium-size Product. As you may imagine, their products range from printing machines to aircrafts and space launch vehicles. In 2019, MHI reported $37B in sales.
Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. (further MHFG) is a banking holding company with headquarters in Tokyo. Its business is built upon four divisions operating globally: Retail Group, Global Corporate Group, Global wealth and asset management, and Strategy affiliates. A relatively young company, it was founded by the merger of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Fuji Bank, and the Industrial Bank of Japan in 2000. At the time of its foundation, Mizuho was the largest bank worldwide by assets just as the name “abundant rice” suggests. In 2019, MHFG attained $35.9B in sales.
Fujitsu Limited (further Fujitsu) is an information technology equipment and services company situated in Tokyo. While Fujitsu is chiefly focused on making computing products, they do offer a diversity of other products tangential to the area of computing. IBM and Fujitsu are two of the oldest IT companies, the latter being established 14 years later. Japan’s first computer is the work of Fujitsu, the FACOM 100 mainframe. The 7 business segments of Fujitsu have brought in $35.7B in sales in 2019, hence the 33rd spot on our list of top 100 companies in Japan by sales in 2019.
JFE Holdings, Inc. is a steel manufacturer corporation formed in 2002 by the merger of NKK and Kawasaki Steel Corporation. In addition to being a distinguished steelmaker, it has also diversified to engineering, shipbuilding, and real-estate development. On the international level, the company manages a handful of overseas subsidiaries. JFE Steel is also in their possession which is a magnificent asset considering its position as the fifth-largest steelmaker in the world. In 2019, JFE Holdings reported $34.9B in sales.
Aisin Seiki Corporation (further Aisin) is an automotive parts business located in Aichi, and is a child company of Toyota Group. However, Toyota is not the only benefactor of their components. A handful of other companies are supplied by Aisin which is encouraged to supply the conveyors of competitors. Other than that, life and amenity products, energy systems, welfare products are also on the plate. In 2019, Aisin Seiki reported $34.8B in sales.
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (further Mitsubishi Chemical) is a company involved in the chemical industry. It was established in 2005 from the merger of Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation and Mitsubishi Pharma Corporation. Mitsubishi Chemical’s business is made up of 4 segments: Functional Products, Chemicals, Industrial Gas, and Healthcare. With the slogan of “Good Chemistry for Tomorrow” and the ardent fervor of over 69,000 employees, Mitsubishi Chemical has managed to pull in $34.1B in sales at the end of 2019.
Suzuki Motor Corporation (further Suzuki) is an automotive corporation with the main office in Hamamtsu. Suzuki’s conveyor belts output automobiles, four-wheel drive vehicles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, outboard marine engines, wheelchairs and a plethora of small internal combustion engines. The company was founded in 1909 and much of its early success can be attributed to building weaving looms and development of such machines. In 2019, Suzuki touched the $33.6B sales mark.
Canon Inc. (further Canon) is a multinational corporation with headquarters in Tokyo. The company activates in the domain of electronics, more specifically optical, imaging and industrial products ranging from lenses to medical equipment. The founding of Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory in 1937 is the origin point of Canon, only to be preceded by their creation of Japan’s first-ever 35 mm camera. Today, Canon operates four business divisions: the Office Business Unit (copying machines, printers, office devices), the Imaging System Business Unit (inkjet printers, camera and camcorders, broadcasting equipment), the Medical System Business Unit (CT, ultrasound scanners, MRI), the Industry and Other Business Unit (magnetic heads, micromotors, lithography equipment). In 2019, Canon’s sales amounted to $33B.
Sompo Holdings, Inc. (further Sompo Holdings) is an insurance company, and comes in second on the property insurance domestic market, after Tokio Marine. The name translates to “general insurance,” but the company is not limited to just that. They offer a diverse portfolio of financial services such as life insurance, securities, asset management, and venture capital. On an international level, they maintain presence in over 28 countries spread across the Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas. In addition to financial services, Sompo Holdings owns Sompo Care aimed at nursing care & healthcare business. In 2019, Sompo Holdings managed the feat of $32.8B in sales.
Bridgestone Corporation (further Bridgestone) is an automotive parts manufacturer primarily focused on motor vehicle tires. The company is the largest manufacturer of tires in the world followed by Michelin and Goodyear. Bridgestone manages over 180 production facilities in 24 countries. It was established by Shojiro Ishibashi in 1931 and named after him (Ishi = stone, Bashi = bridge). As it foregone dependence on European and North American technology, the initial experience marked many difficulties in all areas. Eventually, they managed to pull it off. In 2019, Bridgestone reported $32.3B in sales, ranking 40th in our list of the largest companies in Japan by sales in 2019.
Toshiba Corporation (further Toshiba) is a conglomerate with the main office located in Tokyo. While Toshiba’s history runs earlier than 1939, this is the date it was officially established; a merger of Shibaura Engineering Works and Tokyo Electric. Today, the business is neatly organized into six main groups and their respective companies: Electronic Devices & Storage Solutions, Building Solutions, Energy Systems & Solutions, Infrastructure Systems & Solutions, Digital Solutions, Retail & Printing Solutions. The number of groups also speaks about the diversity of products. All in all, 2019 awarded Toshiba with $33.2B in sales.
Mazda Motor Corporation (further Mazda) is an automaker headquartered in Hiroshima Prefecture. Based on revenue, Mazda ranked twenty-second largest car company in the world. In addition to automobiles, they also produce light trucks and engines. The company was founded in 1920 under the name of Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd. Eleven years later Toyo moved from machine tool manufacturing to vehicles with the coinage of Mazda-Go auto rickshaw. In 2019, Mazda managed the feat of $32.1B in sales.
The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (further Kanden) is an electric utility company supplying the area of Kansai region, which is one of the most industrialized regions thus requiring great amounts of electrical power. Kanden owns and operates over 160 plants reaching a peak production of 35,760 MW. The company was founded in 1951 as Matsunaga convinced the Chairman of the Electricity Business Reorganization Council to cooperate. At the end of 2019, Kanden’s sales amounted to $30.1B.
Subaru Corporation is a conglomerate chiefly focused on terrestrial and aerospace transportation manufacturing. The Corporation is well known for its line of vehicles produced by their automobile manufacturing division Subaru, all while the company’s aerospace division is a defense contractor for the Japanese government. Subaru Corporation was founded in 1953 with the incorporation of Fuji Heavy Industries as five Japanese companies joined a common cause. In 2019, Subaru Corporation reported $30B in sales.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (further Takeda Pharmaceutical) is a pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company and the largest one at that in Asia. Takeda Pharmaceutical was founded in 1781 and incorporated in 1925. Today, its focus revolves around metabolic disorders, gastroenterology, neurology, inflammation, and oncology. With over 49,500 employees, Takeda Pharmaceutical has managed to pull the feat of $29.7B in sales at the end of 2019.
Medipal Holdings Corporation (further Medipal Holdings) is a pharmaceutical wholesaler headquartered in Tokyo Prefecture. Medipal Holdings sources pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, and nutritional additives from over 5,000 suppliers covering a customer base of over 240,000 people. Among the customers there are hospitals, pharmacies, drug stores and food manufacturers. Currently, Medipal Holdings operates over 300 branches. In 2019, Medipal Holdings’s transactions brought in $29.7B.
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. (further Sumitomo Electric) is a company in the non-ferrous metal industry manufacturing electric wire and optical fiber. It was founded in 1897 with the same goal as it currently has; only the ways to apply their output have exponentially increased. Sumitomo comprises five business units: Automotive, Information & Communications, Electronics, Environment & Energy, and Industrial materials with two additional units in the developments. Thanks to an intensive focus on R&D, Sumitomo Electric’s technologies have been a key factor in major projects: wastewater treatment in Korea, bridge construction in Germany, telecom networks in Nigeria. All in all, $28.9B in sales preceded the end of the 2019 fiscal year.
Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. (further Chuden) is an electric utilities provider supplying the Chūbu region of the Honshu island. Among the largest electric utilities companies in Japan, Chuden ranks third based on power generation capacity, energy sold, and annual revenue. Under Chuden’s banner there are currently 212 separate power plants with a peak capacity of 33,490 MW. The 11 thermal power plants account for 72% of total power production. In addition to electricity, Chuden has expanded into optical fibers. In 2019, Chuden reached $28.6B in sales.
NEC Corporation (further NEC) is an information technology and electronics company with the main office in Tokyo. Before rebranding as NEC in 1983, the name was Nippon Electric Company, Limited. In terms of solutions, NEC provides telecommunications equipment, servers, artificial satellites, consumer electronics, and domestic appliances. It used to be the leading force in the manufacturing of semiconductors but has withdrawn since the beginning of the 21st century. NEC was founded in 1899 and was the first Japanese joint-venture with foreign capital. In 2019, NEC achieved the feat of $28B in sales.
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East Japan Railway Company (further JR East) is a passenger railway company and the biggest out of the Japan Railways Group companies. The company was founded in 1987 with a ‘privatization spin-off’ from the Japanese National Railways. While the main focus is providing quality rail transport, other business segments look to diversify: Retails and Services, Real Estate and Hotels, Information Technology and Suica businesses. To top it off, JR East operates all of the Shinkansen - the ultra-fast bullet train - except for the Hokkaido Shinkansen. In 2019, JR East sales reached $27.1B, therefore it closes the list of top 50 companies in Japan by sales in 2019.
Cosmo Energy Holdings Co., Ltd. (further Cosmo) is a company engaged in upstream, midstream, and downstream operations pertaining to oil. Cosmo comprises three business segments. Petroleum is responsible for various fuels, oils, and asphalt as well as the operations involved in importing and exporting, refining, sale, storage, and transportation. Petrochemical involves products such as ethylene, mixed xylene, paraxylene, benzene and toluene. Oil Development is engaged in development and production of crude oil. Additionally, there is a diversified range of construction, insurance, and power generation businesses. In 2019, Cosmo reported $24.9B in sales.
Alfresa Holdings Corporation (further Alfresa) is a holding company, headquartered in Tokyo, of pharmaceutical wholesalers. Thus it deals in wholesaling, manufacturing, import, and export of various pharmaceuticals, reagents, and medical devices. It was founded in 2003 as a joint-stock company, the efforts of Fukujin and Aswell. The holding company operates through 5 segments: Ethical Pharmaceuticals Wholesaling, Self-Medication, Products Wholesaling, Manufacturing, and Medical-related. In 2019, Alfresa’s sales amounted to $24.8B
Daikin Industries, Ltd. (further Daikin) is an air conditioning manufacturing company with headquarters in Osaka. Its network of operations extends to the Americas, Australia, Southeast Asia, Europe, India, and the Middle East. They coined variable refrigerant flow air conditioners but because of a failure to trademark the respective technology it was later remarketed as “variable refrigerant volume.” Daikin was founded in 1924 and went on to invent the necessary chemicals that would make them relevant. All in all, Daikin reached $23.5B in sales at the end of 2019.
Komatsu Ltd. is a company that deals in manufacturing of heavy equipment: construction, mining, forestry and military equipment. And to that list we can add diesel engines, press machines, laser and thermoelectric generators. It was founded in 1921 and takes the name after its city in Ishikawa Prefecture. Komatsu’s manufacturing network, besides Japan, expands into Asia, the Americas, and Europe. On the global market of construction and mining equipment it shadows Caterpillar, but enjoys a stronger share in Japan and China. The company ended 2019 on a note of $23.2 in sales.
Nippon Steel Trading Corp. (further Nippon Steel) engages in the sale, import, and export of steel, industrial supply and infrastructure, textiles, and food products. Nippon Steel is made of four core business divisions: Steel (sheets, pipes and tubes, structural, rods and bars), Industrial Supply & Infrastructure (metal machinery, mining machinery, crane, machine parts, office automation equipment), Textiles (product planning, production, and distribution of apparel items), Foodstuffs. Nippon Steel made $23.2B in sales in 2019.
Sekisui House, Ltd. is a company dealing in operations pertaining to real estate properties, construction projects, real estate brokerage and landscaping. As such it incorporates all the necessary workings such as constructing, selling, purchasing and administration in terms of homebuilders and at the same time keeps a keen supervision eye on various projects. It was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Osaka. At the end of 2019, the ledgers were showing $22.1B in sales.
Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. is a human resources company and was found in 1960 initially serving as an advertisement company. The idea was to act as a matchmaker for ready-to-graduate, eager-to-work students and corporations in need of workforce. Today, it operates through 3 segments: Human Resources Technology Services, Media & Solutions and Staffing. The $21.9B sales mark in 2019 has been possible thanks to over 45,700 people employed at Recruit Holdings.
Sharp Corporation is a corporation chiefly focused on manufacturing and selling of electronic components and consumer electronic products. It was founded in 1921 and is headquartered in Sakai. It operates through 5 business segments each introducing a wide variety of products. Sharp is majority-owned by Foxconn Group - Taiwan-based electronics company. With over 54,000 people employed worldwide, those efforts combined have allowed Sharp to end 2019 on a $21.9B sales note.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is an automotive manufacturer headquartered in Minato. It joined the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in 2016 as Nissan had owned a third in the company. Additionally, it is part of the Mitsubishi keiretsu, a big conglomerate we had earlier on our list. Mitsubishi Motors was founded in 1970 after a spin off of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Apart from manufacturing automobiles, Mitsubishi Motors also does automobile leasing and sales finance business. All in all, $21.9B in sales is the mark they have achieved in 2019.
Fujifilm Holdings Corporation (further Fujifil Holdings) portfolio features a lot of industries which are summarized under three business segments. Imaging Solutions emphasizes color films, digital cameras, optical devices, color paper, photofinishing, instant photo systems. Information Solutions is aimed at equipment and materials for medical systems, pharmaceuticals, flat panel display materials. Document Solutions provides office copy machines, printers, production systems, office services and consumables. In 2019, Fujifilm Holdings achieved $21.7B in sales
ORIX Corporation (further ORIX) is a financial services group situated in Minato and Osaka. Among its diversified service portfolio you can find leasing, lending, rentals, life insurance, real estate financing and developing, venture capital, investment and retail banking, commodities funds and securities brokering. It operates through 6 business segments: Corporate Financial Services, Maintenance Leasing, Real Estate, Investment and Operation, Retail, and Overseas Business. In 2019, ORIX made $21.3B in sales.
Toray Industries, Inc. (further Toray) is a corporation in the textiles and chemicals industries specializing in organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biochemistry. In addition to the initial areas of exploration, Toray has delved into pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, electronics, housing and engineering. Toray was established in 1926 by Mitsui, however, it was not named a Mitsui due to scepticism of the company’s success. Those times are past them and their efforts in the year 2019 have brought in $20.8B in sales.
Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. (furhter Sumitomo Chemical) is a chemical company with the head office in Tokyo. It is part of the Sumitomo group and was founded in 1913 with the initial purpose of manufacturing fertilizer. Today, Sumitomo Chemical comprises 5 business segments: Petrochemicals, Energy and Functional Materials, IT-related Chemicals, Health and Crop Sciences, Pharmaceuticals. In 2019, Sumitomo Chemical reported $20.7B in sales thus getting the 63rd spot in our top 100 companies in Japan by sales in 2019.
Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. (further Tohoku) is an electric utility supplying the Tohoku region with 100V, 50Hz electricity. Many of its power generation facilities are hydroelectric power plants in over 200 locations. Tohoku’s business segments involve distribution and engineering to make it happen. The company was founded in 1951 and is headquartered in Sendai. In 2019, Tohoku achieved $20.7B in sales.
Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. (further Fast Retailing) is a retail holding company headquartered in Yamaguchi. Alongside its primary subsidiary Uniqio, Fast Retailing manages several other brands such as J Brand, Comptoir des Colonniers, Gu, Princesse Tam-Tam, and Theory. The company was founded in 1963 and has picked up the pace of success. In 2019, the combined effort of over 56,000 employees has lead to Fast Retailing scoring $20.5B in sales.
Suzuken Co., Ltd. (further Suzuken) is mainly a wholesale business of pharmaceuticals headquartered in Nagoya City. It is one of the four major pharmaceutical wholesalers along with Medipal Holdings, Alfresa Holdings, Toho Pharmaceutical, and Ashi no Kai group. It was founded in 1932 as a general shopping store. Additionally, two more business segments complement the manufacturing and sale of pharmaceuticals: Insurance Pharmacy and Health-care related services. As of 2019, Suzuken reported $20.3B in sales.
Japan Tobacco Inc. (further JT) is a cigarette manufacturing company headquartered in Minato with the international headquarters being in Geneva. JT was founded in 1949, but is preceded by the earlier success of the government into a nationalized tobacco monopoly. On the international level, JT International division upholds the operations. In 2019, JT made the achievement of $20B in sales.
Toyota Industries Corporation (further Toyota Industries) is a machine maker company headquartered in Aichi. Even 94 years past the foundation date it still produces automatic looms. It is also the company from which Toyota Motor Corporation developed. As it stands, Toyota Industries is operating in five business areas: automotive, materials handling, electronics, logistics, and textile machinery. And on the note of its origins, the company is still manufacturing state-of-the-art looms. In 2019, Toyota Industries managed the feat of $20B in sales.
Asahi Kasei Corporation (further AsahiKASEI) is a business operating in the chemical industry with headquarters in Chiyoda. The main products of AsahiKASEI are chemicals (caustic soda, chlorine, styrene, polyethylene, polysterene) and materials science. Four business sectors make up the core of the corporation: Chemicals & fibers, Homes & construction materials, Electronics, and Health care. Going after statistics, the chemical segment - 40% - is the most impactful. In 2019, AsahiKASEI reported $19.9B in sales.
Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. (further Asahi) is a company active in the industry of beverages, more specifically beer, spirits, soft drinks and food business group. The main headquarters are in Sumida. Asahi was founded in 1889 under the name of Osaka Beer Company. Business structure is as follows: alcoholic beverages(40.5%), overseas business (32%), soft drinks business (17.2%), food business (5.4%) and other business (4.9%). All in all, Asahi finished 2019 with sales numbers counting $19.2B.
Nomura Holdings, Inc. (further Nomura Holdings) is a financial holding company and main member of the Nomura Group. The company’s chief headquarters are in Chuo. Together with its other financial services-oriented subsidiaries it provides financial services, management, and consulting to customers ranging from individuals to governments on a global basis primarily securities business. Nomura Holdings was established in 1925 with the spin-off from Securities Dept. of Osaka Nomura Bank Co., Ltd. In 2019, Nomura Holdings managed $19.1B in sales.
Isuzu Motors Ltd. (further Isuzu) is a commercial vehicle and diesel engine manufacturer headquartered in Shinagawa. Isuzu history began in 1916 as a cooperation toward building automobiles. The principal focus is on the production, marketing and sale of Isuzu vehicles and diesel engines. Isuzu employs over 37,000 people whose efforts have been a major asset for the company to achieve $19.1B in sales in 2019.
Nippon Express Co., Ltd. (furtther Nippon express) is a logistics services company headquartered in Tokyo. It was established in 1937 as a semi-government transportation service and fully privatized by the 1950s. Nippon Express has operations in: Japan, the Americas, Europe, East Asia, South Asia and Oceania. The business segments that comprise Nippon Express are: Security Transportation, Heavy Haulage & Construction, and Logistics Support. In 2019, Nippon Express’s deals amounted to $19.1B.
Obayashi Corporation is a company operating in the industries of construction, engineering, and design. The main headquarters are in Tokyo. It was founded in 1892 as a building construction and civil engineering contractor. It operates on an international level with an increased leverage in Southeast Asia and Australia as well as the United States and Australia. Obayashi’s operation network includes over 90 subsidiaries and 30 affiliated companies. In 2019, Obayashi reported $18.9B in sales.
T&D Holdings, Inc. (further T&D) is a holding group that manages companies in the industry of life insurance. The main headquarters are in Tokyo. It was founded in 2004, which makes it relatively new. As the owner of three life insurance companies, it provides a wide range of distinct financial services through each company. In 2019, T&D has achieved the mark of $18.6B in sales, closing the list of 75 top companies in Japan by sales in 2019.
Ricoh Company, Ltd. (further Ricoh) engages in the development, production, sale, and provision of services for imaging systems, industrial printers, and network equipment. The main headquarters are in Tokyo. Ricoh was founded in 1936 and today its business segments comprise: Office Printing, Office Services, Commercial Printing, Industrial Printing, and Thermal. A vast portfolio of products has pushed Ricoh in 2019 to $18.5B in sales.
Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. (further Kyushu) is an electric utility company which is supplying power to 7 prefectures. The main headquarters are in Fukuoka and it was founded in 1951. Kyushu operates 4 business segments: Electric Power, Energy-related, Information Technology, and Telecommunications. In addition to distributing power, it is also involved in the management of liquefied natural gases as well as telecom products. In 2019, Kyushu has reached $18.5B in sales.
Kajima Corporation (Kajima) is a construction company and one of the oldest and largest. The main headquarters are in Tokyo. It was founded in 1840 by Iwakichi Kajima as a carpentry business. The corporation services include design, engineering, construction, and real estate development. Many of its subsidiaries are spread throughout Asia, Oceania, Europe, and North America. Due to the unforeseen downturn of the 1990s, Kajima was prompted to diversify into the environmental sector, specifically waste and water treatment, soil rehabilitation, and environmental consulting. In 2019, Kajima made $18.4B in sales.
All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. (further ANA) is a company operating in the industry of air transportation services. It was founded in 1952 under the name of Japan Helicopter and Aeroplane Transports Company. The main headquarters are in Tokyo. ANA operates both domestic and international flights with an employment force of 35,000. In addition to managing all the operations that favor proper administration of its air fleet, ANA imports and sells paper, pulp and food products all while exporting semiconductors and electronic components. It also provides advertising agency services and operates an online shopping site. In 2019, ANA brought in $18.2B in sales.
Kirin Holdings Company, Limited (further Kirin) is a company invested in the industry of beverages. It was founded in 1885 with the taking over of Spring Valley Brewery. The main headquarters are in Tokyo. The major operating units of Kirin include Kirin Brewery Company, Limited, Mercian Corporation and Kirin Beverages Company, Limited. Also, Kirin is part of the Mitsubishi Group. Apart from brewing alcoholic cocktails, Kirin has invested itself in pharmaceuticals, bioengineering, hard liquor, wine, soft drinks, and food products. In 2019, Kirin’s sales amounted to $17.8B, helping the company to make it into the list of 80 top copmanies in Japan by sales in 2019.
Hanwa Co., Ltd. (further Hanwa) is a conglomerate operating in the industry of iron and steel products. It was founded in 1947 and is headquartered in Tokyo. Hanwa features a wide range of goods better summarized under the following segments: Steel, Metal and Alloy, Non-Ferrous Metal, Food Products, Petroleum and Chemical, and Overseas Subsidiary Sale. At the end of 2019, Hanwa has reached $17.8B in sales.
Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. (further Tokyo Gas) engages in the provision of city gas and its by-products. It was founded in 1885 by Shibusawa Eiichi and Asano Soichiro as they have acquired the business of Tokyo Prefecture Gas Bureau. The main headquarters are in Tokyo. Tokyo Gas, as the name suggests, is the primary provider for several main cities in the Tokyo area. In addition, the company is well active in handling power services, real estate, ship and credit businesses. In 2019, Tokyo Gas made $17.7B in sales.
Kubota Corporation (further Kubota) is a company operating in the industry of tractor and heavy equipment manufacturing. It was established in 1890, as a foundry, and is headquartered in Osaka. One of the notable projects Kubota worked on is the infamous Solar Ark. The company’s product portfolio extends but is not limited to tractors, agricultural equipment, engines, construction equipment, pipe valves, cast metal, pumps and equipment for water and sewage treatment. In 2019, Kubota reached the mark of $17.6B.
Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd. (further Mitsui) is a company operating in the industry of real estate business. It was founded in 1941 and is now headquartered in Tokyo. As the name might give it away, Mitsui Fudosan is one of the main companies of Mitsui Group. The business comprises four divisions: Office Building, Real Estate Solution Services, Accommodation business, Retail properties. In 2019, Mitsui’s sales amounted to $17.5B.
Kobe Steel, Ltd. (further Kobelco) is a company operating in the industry of steel. It was founded in 1905 and is headquartered in Kobe. Kobe Steel is a member of the MUFJ (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group) keiretsu. The current business segments and products are: Iron & Steel, Welding, Aluminium & Copper, Machinery, Engineering, Kobelco Eco-Solutions, Kobelco Construction Machinery, and Kobelco Cranes. The company is an important export asset of wires used in valve springs of auto engines. In 2019, Kobelco achieved $17.5B in sales, hence the 85th spot on our top companies in Japan by sales in 2019.
Central Japan Railway Company (further JR Central) is a company operating in the industry of railway services. It was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Nagoya. JR Central operates through the following segments: Transportation, Merchandise, and Real estate. Thus all the services complement each other, but the main focus remains strong on passenger railways. With over 28,000 employees, JR Central has worked hard for the $17B in sales at the end of 2019.
Lixil Group Corporation (further Lixil) is a company operating in the industry of building materials and housing equipment. It was founded in 1949 and is headquartered in Tokyo. Lixil now operates the 6 business divisions: Water Technology, Housing Technology, Building Technology, Kitchen Technology, Distribution and Retail, and Housing and Services. Among its products you will find metal building materials, plumbing fixtures, and interior furnishing materials. In 2019, Lixil made $17B in sales.
Shimizu Corporation (further Shimizu) is a company operating in heavy construction, engineering, and project management industries. It was founded in 1804 and is headquartered in Tokyo. Shimizu operates through the following segments: Construction Business of the Corporation, Real Estate Business of the Corporation, and Other. Shimizu solutions are: Planning & Consulting, Development & Financing, Design, Construction, Facility Management, Maintenance, Renovation, Engineering & Technology, R&D. In 2019, Shimizu accomplished $16.1B in sales.
Sojitz Corporation (further Sojitz) is a company operating in the general trading industry. It was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Tokyo. As general trading goes, Sojitz is a conglomerate with a very diversified sector portfolio: automobiles, energy, mineral resources, chemicals, foodstuff resources, agricultural and forestry resources, consumer goods, and industrial parks. “Sojitz” translates to “twin suns” and implies a merger of equals between Nissho Iwai Corporation and Nichimen Corporation. In 2019, Sojitz reported $16.1B in sales.
Taisei Corporation (further Taisei) is a company operating in the construction, civil engineering and real estate development industries. It was founded in 1873 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Taisei Corporation is one of the big five contractors, also referred to as “super general contractors.” The corporation was involved in many esteemed international projects. Taisei’s network of operations has over 15 branch offices, 1 technology center, 46 domestic offices, and 12 overseas offices. In 2019, Taisei reached $15.9B in sales.
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (further NYK Line) is a company operating in the transportation industry. It was founded in 1885 and is headquartered in Tokyo. NYK Line solutions include: marine transportation, air transportation, cruises, terminal and harbour transport, shipping-related services. The company’s fleet is 800 ships strong and has the required diversity to fulfil a great number of jobs. In 2019, Nippon Yusen made $15.6 in sales.
Pan Pacific International Holdings Corporation (further Pan Pacific) is a company operating in the retail of home electrical appliances, miscellaneous household goods, food, watches, and fashion-related merchandise. It was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Tokyo. Pan Pacific operates three segments: Retail Business, Tenant Leasing and Other. Retail Business includes Don Quijote, MEGA Don Quijote, Nagasakiya, GMS, Doit. In 2019, Pan Pacific’s sales amounted to $15.4B.
Yamaha Motor Company, Limited (further Yamaha Motor) is a company operating in the automotive industry. It was founded in 1918 and is headquartered in Iwata. Yamaha Motor operates 5 business segments: Land Mobility, Marine Products, Robotics, Financial Services, and Others. As such, the offered products include motorcycles, scooters, recreational vehicles, snowmobiles, small tractors, personal watercraft, electrically power-assisted bicycles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and golf carts. Besides the automotive focus, Yamaha engages in import and sales of various products, development of tourist businesses and management of recreational facilities. In 2019, Yamaha Motor made $15.3B in sales.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., (further KHI) is a company operating in the manufacturing of transportation equipment and industrial goods industries. It was founded in 1878 and is headquartered in Kobe. KHI is one of the three heavy industrial behemoths together with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and IHI. The company’s products include aerospace, rolling stock, shipbuilding, energy plants and facilities, industrial equipment, environment and recycling, infrastructure, and transportation. In 2019, KHI managed the feat of $15B in sales.
Yamato Holdings Co., Ltd. is a company operating in managing its group companies and subsidiaries. It was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in Tokyo. It operates through the following segments: Delivery, BIZ-Logistics, Home Convenience, e-Business, Financial, Auto Works, and Others. The Holdings corporation employs the effort of over 225,000 people who were indispensable to attain the $14.9B in sales during 2019.
Yamada-Denki Co., Ltd. (further Yamada-Denki) is a company operating in the retail industry. It was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Takasaki. Yamada-Denki products include color televisions, washing machines, cooking appliances, personal computers, telephones, fax machines, mobile phones, beauty supplies, jewellery, clothing, housing-related products. It employs over 18,800 people who have played an important role in achieving $14.9B in sales in 2019.
Kyocera Corporation (further Kyocera) is a company operating in the electronics industry, and namely design, development, production, manufacture and, respectively, sale of such equipment. It was founded in 1959 and is headquartered in Kyoto. Main products include semiconductor, packages, industrial components, automotive components, electronic devices, solar power systems, printers, copiers, and mobile phones. At the end of the 2019 fiscal year, Kyocera’s sales amounted to $14.7B.
Daito Trust Construction Co., Ltd. (further Daito) is a company operating in the design, construction and management of real estate industry-related activities. It was founded in 1974 and is headquartered in Tokyo. The core business is devised into: Construction segment (planning, design, and construction), Real Estate segment (brokerage, management and leasing ), Financial segment (construction loan business and fire reinsurance), and the Other segment (fuel sale, management of day service centres and hotels). In 2019, Daito made $14.3B in sales.
Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. (further Shin-Etsu) is a company operating in the manufacture and sale of industrial chemicals. It was founded in 1926 and is headquartered in Tokyo. Shin-Etsu is a key player in the market share for polyvinyl chloride, semiconductor silicon, and photomask substrates. Three groups make up Shin-Etsu’s business: Organic and Inorganic chemicals (PVC, silicones, methanol), Electronics materials (semiconductor silicon, organic materials), and Functional Materials (quartz). In 2019, Shin-Etsu accomplished $14.2B in sales.
Nidec Corporation (further Nidec) is a company operating in the electronic components industry with a sizable focus on electric motors. It was founded in 1973 and is now headquartered in Kyoto. Nidec’s products facilitate the manufacture of hard-disk drives, electric appliances, automobiles, commercial and manufacturing equipment. The corporation has the biggest market share for tiny spindle motors. Nidec’s network comprises over 300 subsidiaries spread across Japan, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. In 2019, Nidec achieved $14.1B in sales, closing our top 100 companies in Japan by sales in 2019.
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