History of Asahi Kasei

The Asahi Kasei Group has consistently grown through proactive transformation of the business portfolio to meet the evolving need of every age. We have constantly provided products and services that offer solutions to various environmental and social challenges. As the world constantly changes, we will continue to contribute to life and living for people around the world by Creating for Tomorrow.

1920sGrowth as a diversified chemical manufacturer

  1. 1922

    Asahi Fabric Co., Ltd. established

  2. 1923

    Japan Nitrogenous Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. begins manufacturing synthetic ammonia in Nobeoka

    • Mixed-gas compressors at the ammonia synthesis plant

  3. 1924

    Asahi Fabric Co., Ltd. begins manufacturing viscose rayon

    • Company logo of Asahi Fabric Co., Ltd.

    • Re-reeling viscose rayon at the Zeze Plant of Asahi Fabric (ca. 1928)

  4. 1931

    Nobeoka Ammonia Fiber Co., Ltd. established, producing ammonia, nitric acid, and other chemicals (paid-in capital ¥10 million, the formal establishment of Asahi Kasei)

  5. 1933

    Nobeoka Ammonia Fiber acquires Japan Bemberg Fiber Co., Ltd. (producing Bemberg™ cupro fiber) and Asahi Fabric Co., Ltd. (producing viscose rayon), forming Asahi Bemberg Fiber Co., Ltd. (paid-in capital ¥46 million)

  6. 1935

    Production of monosodium glutamate begins; launch of food product business

  7. 1943

    Asahi Bemberg Fiber acquires Japan Nitrogenous Explosives Co., Ltd., forming Japan Nitrogenous Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (paid-in capital ¥54.4 million)

  8. 1946

    Name changed to Asahi Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (paid-in capital ¥54.4 million)

  9. 1949

    Shares listed on the First Section of the Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya stock exchanges

    • Bemberg™ fashion show held at the Hankyu Department Store in Osaka (1951)

  10. 1952

    Operation at Kawasaki Works begins with establishment of Asahi-Dow Co., Ltd. as a petrochemical joint venture with the Dow Chemical Company

  11. 1957

    Asahi-Dow begins production of polystyrene, entering the plastics business

  12. 1959

    Synthetic fiber operations begin with production of Cashmilon™ acrylic staple fiber in Fuji (production ended March 2003)

    In the early decades, our business diversification was centered on utilization of ammonia derivatives. The acrylic fiber business was a notable example, using ammonia to make acrylonitrile which is then polymerized. Among the synthetic fibers, acrylic fiber has characteristics similar to wool. It has been used for a wide variety of garments. Although most synthetic fibers produced in Japan during this period were based on technology introduced from abroad, we developed our own technology for acrylic fiber. Suggestive of high-end cashmere wool, the product name Cashmilon™ was chosen from among suggestions by employees through a campaign in the internal magazine.

    • Cashmilon™ blankets

    • Cashmilon™ product label

1960sBranching into new fields

  1. 1960

    Fabricated plastic product operations begin with introduction of Saran Wrap™ cling film to the Japanese market

    • Saran Wrap™ cling film as first sold in Japan (ca. 1960)

  2. 1960

    New York Office opened

  3. 1962

    Production of acrylonitrile begins at Kawasaki Works

  4. 1967

    Construction materials operations begin with production of Hebel™ autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) panels

    • Kasumigaseki Building, completed in 1968, with interior walls of Hebel™

  5. 1969

    Petrochemical operations at Mizushima Works begin with establishment of Sanyo Petrochemical Co., Ltd.

  6. 1971

    Start-up of glass fabric business with establishment of Asahi-Schwebel Co., Ltd.

    • Plastic optical fibers

  7. 1972

    Ethylene plant begins operation at Sanyo Ethylene Co., Ltd. with capacity of 350,000 t/y

    • 1972 Ethylene plant in Mizushima

    Housing operations begin with launch of Hebel Haus™ steel-frame homes and establishment of Asahi Kasei Homes Corp.

    • The first Hebel Haus™ at Kamata model home park

    As demand for new homes in Japan grew rapidly in the late 1960s and early 1970s, companies in many industries entered the housing sector. Asahi Kasei established a real estate division in July 1969, and built the first Hebel Haus™ using autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) panels in 1970 at a model home park in Kamata, Tokyo. In March 1972, Hebel Haus™ D-series and E-series products were launched on the market, and the homes business headquarters was moved from Hibiya to Shinjuku. In November 1972, Asahi Kasei Homes was established as a dedicated subsidiary for the homes business.

    • Hebel Haus™ E-series

  8. 1974

    Asahi Medical Co., Ltd. (now Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.) established; medical device operations begin with start of artificial kidney production

    • Artificial kidney product inspection in Oita (1975)

  9. 1976

    Textile operations reinforced with establishment of Asahi Kasei Textile Co., Ltd.

    Asahi Kasei Construction Materials Corp. established

    Launch of Suncity ™ condominiums in Itabashi, Tokyo; beginning of real estate development business

    • Suncity in Itabashi, Tokyo (1979)

  10. 1978

    Sunfural™ oral anticancer agent launched; start of pharmaceutical business

    • Sunfural™ product inspection in Nobeoka

1980sPromoting globalization

  1. 1980

    Hall element production begins with establishment of Miyazaki Electronics Co., Ltd. (now Asahi Kasei Electronics Co., Ltd.)

  2. 1982

    Asahi-Dow merges with Asahi Chemical, synthetic resin operations are reinforced

  3. 1983

    Semiconductor operations begin with establishment of Asahi Microsystems Co., Ltd. (now Asahi Kasei Microsystems Co., Ltd.)

    • Verifying custom LSI mask patterns (1980s)

    Asahi Microsystems Co., Ltd. started business by selling imported telecommunication LSIs. In 1984, a Design Center was opened to establish business based on original technology. In 1986, the name was changed to Asahi Kasei Microdevices and all functions of research, design, manufacture, and sales were combined as an integrated business unit. Asahi Kasei’s LSIs feature analog/digital mixed-signal technology which is essential for audiovisual equipment and smartphones. This technology serves as a bridge between analog signals, which humans can sense, and digital signals, which are processed in electronic systems. It is used in a wide variety of electronic products.

    • Electronics Laboratory in Atsugi (1985)

  4. 1988

    Beijing Office opened

  5. 1992

    Pharmaceuticals and liquors maker Toyo Jozo Co., Ltd. merges with Asahi Chemical

    • Pharmaceuticals just after the merger with Toyo Jozo Co., Ltd.

    Our partnership with Toyo Jozo began in 1958, when we strengthened research for manufacturing glutamic acid by fermentation. In the late 1980s, we diversified business in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and electronics to adapt to changes in the industrial structure. We acquired 51% of Toyo Jozo’s shares in 1989, and completed a merger in 1992 to reinforce our pharmaceuticals business platform.

  6. 1994

    Asahi Kasei Textile merges with Asahi Chemical

  7. 1999

    Foods business divested to Japan Tobacco Inc.

2000sTaking on new challanges

  1. 2000

    Performance resin compounding facilities in Europe and US acquired from Nippon Steel Chemical Co., Ltd.

  2. 2001

    Company name changed from Asahi Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. to Asahi Kasei Corp.

    • Group Brand Logo adopted in 2001

  3. 2002

    Shochu and low-alcohol beverage operations divested to Asahi Breweries, Ltd., and The Nikka Whiskey Distilling Co., Ltd.

  4. 2003

    Sake operations divested to Oenon Holdings Corp.

    Transformation to a holding company configuration with Asahi Kasei Corp. as holding company and Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp., Asahi Kasei Homes Corp., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp., Asahi Kasei Fibers Corp., Asahi Kasei EMD Corp., Asahi Kasei Construction Materials Corp., and Asahi Kasei Life & Living Corp. as core operating companies.

  5. 2007

    Asahi Kasei Life & Living merges with Asahi Kasei Chemicals

  6. 2008

    Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical Co., Ltd. and Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd. begin operation as core operating companies

  7. 2009

    Asahi Kasei E-materials Corp. begins operation as a core operating company; Asahi Kasei EMD name changed to Asahi Kasei Microdevices

  8. 2011

    Adoption of Asahi Kasei Group Mission, Group Vision, Group Values, and Group Slogan

    • Framework of Group Philosophy

  9. 2012

    Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical is merged into Asahi Kasei Medical

    Acquisition of ZOLL Medical Corporation of the US, which becomes a core operating company; expansion in the field of acute critical care

    • ZOLL products

  10. 2013

    Delisting from Nagoya, Sapporo, and Fukuoka stock exchanges

  11. 2014

    Registered Home Office changed from Osaka to Tokyo

  12. 2015

    Acquisition of Polypore International, LP of the US

    • Celgard™ lithium-ion battery separator (left), Daramic™ lead-acid battery separator (right)

  13. 2016

    Shutdown of naphtha cracker at Mizushima Works of Asahi Kasei Chemicals; Asahi Kasei Mitsubishi Chemical Ethylene Corp. starts shared operation of naphtha cracker facilities

    Transformation to an operating holding company configuration through merger of Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp., Asahi Kasei Fibers Corp., and Asahi Kasei E-materials Corp. into Asahi Kasei Corp.

  14. 2017

    Change in stock trading unit from 1,000 shares to 100 shares

    • AKXY™ concept car equipped with various Asahi Kasei materials and technologies (2017)

  15. 2018

    Acquisition of Sage Automotive Interiors, Inc.

    • AKXY™ POD Vehicle interior mockup