The energy price collapse is doing in Japan what the Great Depression and two world wars couldn’t: put an end to a century of dominance by its three most prestigious companies.

The trading house descendants of Mitsubishi, Mitsui and Sumitomo, which have dominated the nation’s economy for more than 100 years, have seen their profits topped by lesser-known rival Itochu Corp. And analysts predict the firm will be the leading earner until at least fiscal 2018.

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