For several decades, Japanese companies have been among the largest foreign contributors to the U.S. economy. Because many of their compatriots have found success in the United States, more Japanese companies have invested in this massive, diverse and stable market.

Founded in 1985 in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, Japanese-owned Toray Plastics (America) Inc. began with the production of oriented polypropylene film and polyester film for magnetic tape. As demand for magnetic tape declined, together with video tapes in the late 1990s, Toray adopted new equipment and technology to manufacture innovative products for new markets. Because of that bold move, from 2002 through 2010, the subsidiary was among the best performers of the entire Toray Plastics Group.

“Sustainability is essential to Toray Plastics and we aim always to be a step ahead of our customers. We are currently working on the development of a biodegradable film, which will support our customers and help us significantly expand our business,” Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Ken Kurokawa said.

Because it mainly serves companies based in the United States, Canada and Mexico, Toray develops and manufactures new products and applications that cater to those markets. This regional, customer-focused mindset has enabled Toray to develop cost-effective purchasing and production processes that has helped the company boost profits.

While the company is involved primarily in the manufacture of polypropylene films for food packaging and polyester films for industrial applications, it is expanding into other industries and developing new applications, thanks to a fully supported research and development team.

“With our focus on innovation and our eyes on the future, expansion is underway at our Torayfan polypropylene film division. We plan to continue investing in state-of-the-art equipment and expand our operations. The future looks very bright,” Kurokawa said.