History of Asahi Kasei
Founded in 1922, we have diversified operations by taking challenges to meet the changing needs of the times
Our founder Shitagau Noguchi established Asahi Fabric Co., Ltd. in May 1922, and built a large viscose rayon plant in Zeze, Shiga Prefecture, near Lake Biwa. The following year, he began Japan's first ammonia production by chemical synthesis at a plant in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, using power from a hydroelectric plant. Throughout his lifetime, Noguchi maintained a clear vision: "Our ultimate mission is to improve people’s standard of living by supplying an abundance of the highest-quality daily necessities at the lowest prices."
1972Becoming a diversified chemical company with clothing, food, and housing products
In April 1972, our naphtha cracker in Mizushima, Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, began operating. This was a bold step by our fifth president, Kagayaki Miyazaki, in line with his new corporate vision of being a diversified chemical company with clothing, food, and housing products. He discussed what the world's emerging needs would be in 10 to 20 years with young employees. Their decision to build an integrated petrochemical complex for in-house production of chemical products as well as intermediate feedstocks was an ambitious one. The investment of nearly ¥150 billion was equivalent to the company’s annual turnover at the time. Our homes business was also launched in 1972 with the release of Hebel Haus™ order-built houses.
2012Accelerating global business expansion
In April 2012, the Asahi Kasei Group acquired ZOLL Medical Corporation. ZOLL offers a comprehensive array of acute critical care products and has a firm global position in professional products for hospitals and emergency medical services. This acquisition propelled the globalization of the Asahi Kasei Group, adding operating locations around the world and bringing in more employees with a diverse range of backgrounds.