Over 1,000 Japanese firms to turn 100 years old in 2017

JIJI

More than 1,000 Japanese companies will mark the 100th anniversary of their founding in 2017, among them precision equipment maker Nikon Corp., automaker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and Morinaga Milk Industry Co.

Of the roughly 3 million companies in the database of credit research firm Tokyo Shoko Research Ltd., 1,118 companies will turn 100 years old this year.

1917 saw a bumper crop of firms, mainly manufacturers, established in Japan to take advantage of growing exports on the back of World War I.

A Nikon spokesman said his company has survived the past century because it has “globally promoted a wide range of products and services based on its high-quality technologies mainly in the optical and precision sectors.”

These 100-year-old companies still need to adapt to changing times.

Fuji Heavy, known for its Subaru automobile brand, plans to concentrate its resources on automobile and aerospace businesses while pulling the plug on industrial machinery operations. In April, the company will change its corporate name to Subaru Corp.

“Our main theme in 2017 will be how we should boost the appeal of our Subaru brand,” Fuji Heavy President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said.

More than 100,000 companies are set up in Japan every year.

“It’s interesting to imagine how many newly established companies will still be around a hundred years from now,” a Tokyo Shoko Research official said.