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
Asahi Fabric Co., Ltd. established
Japan Nitrogenous Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. begins manufacturing synthetic ammonia in Nobeoka
Asahi Fabric Co., Ltd. begins manufacturing viscose rayon
Nobeoka Ammonia Fiber Co., Ltd. established, producing ammonia, nitric acid, and other chemicals (paid-in capital ¥10 million, the formal establishment of Asahi Kasei)
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)
Production of monosodium glutamate begins; launch of food product business
Asahi Bemberg Fiber acquires Japan Nitrogenous Explosives Co., Ltd., forming Japan Nitrogenous Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (paid-in capital ¥54.4 million)
Name changed to Asahi Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (paid-in capital ¥54.4 million)
Shares listed on the First Section of the Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya stock exchanges
Operation at Kawasaki Works begins with establishment of Asahi-Dow Co., Ltd. as a petrochemical joint venture with the Dow Chemical Company
Asahi-Dow begins production of polystyrene, entering the plastics business
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.
1960sBranching into new fields
Fabricated plastic product operations begin with introduction of Saran Wrap™ cling film to the Japanese market
New York Office opened
Production of acrylonitrile begins at Kawasaki Works
Construction materials operations begin with production of Hebel™ autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) panels
Petrochemical operations at Mizushima Works begin with establishment of Sanyo Petrochemical Co., Ltd.
Start-up of glass fabric business with establishment of Asahi-Schwebel Co., Ltd.
Ethylene plant begins operation at Sanyo Ethylene Co., Ltd. with capacity of 350,000 t/y
Housing operations begin with launch of Hebel Haus™ steel-frame homes and establishment of Asahi Kasei Homes Corp.
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.
Asahi Medical Co., Ltd. (now Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.) established; medical device operations begin with start of artificial kidney production
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
Sunfural™ oral anticancer agent launched; start of pharmaceutical business
Hall element production begins with establishment of Miyazaki Electronics Co., Ltd. (now Asahi Kasei Electronics Co., Ltd.)
Asahi-Dow merges with Asahi Chemical, synthetic resin operations are reinforced
Semiconductor operations begin with establishment of Asahi Microsystems Co., Ltd. (now Asahi Kasei Microsystems Co., Ltd.)
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.
Beijing Office opened
Pharmaceuticals and liquors maker Toyo Jozo Co., Ltd. merges with Asahi Chemical
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.
Asahi Kasei Textile merges with Asahi Chemical
Foods business divested to Japan Tobacco Inc.
2000sTaking on new challanges
Performance resin compounding facilities in Europe and US acquired from Nippon Steel Chemical Co., Ltd.
Company name changed from Asahi Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. to Asahi Kasei Corp.
Shochu and low-alcohol beverage operations divested to Asahi Breweries, Ltd., and The Nikka Whiskey Distilling Co., Ltd.
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.
Asahi Kasei Life & Living merges with Asahi Kasei Chemicals
Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical Co., Ltd. and Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd. begin operation as core operating companies
Asahi Kasei E-materials Corp. begins operation as a core operating company; Asahi Kasei EMD name changed to Asahi Kasei Microdevices
Adoption of Asahi Kasei Group Mission, Group Vision, Group Values, and Group Slogan
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
Delisting from Nagoya, Sapporo, and Fukuoka stock exchanges
Registered Home Office changed from Osaka to Tokyo
Acquisition of Polypore International, LP of the US
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.
Change in stock trading unit from 1,000 shares to 100 shares
Acquisition of Sage Automotive Interiors, Inc.