With networks expanding globally, Japanese trading companies, or “SHOSHA”, influence a vast array of business fields. More than just facilitating trade, SHOSHA invest capital to grease the wheels of innovation.

Recently, Shosha have garnered worldwide attention by using their businesses to contribute globally to humanitarian and environmental efforts and to meet the needs of developing nations. Here, we will look at some of these businesses.

The Water Business

Expanding populations in the developing world have led these areas to experience a shortage of drinking water, water for agriculture and manufacturing, and growing water pollution. Global warming has caused widespread aridity. Many regions of the world currently wrestle with social issues stemming from these problems. As water issues are linked to food and energy problems, governments in the developing world are rushing to improve water infrastructure. For their part, many Shosha have dedicated themselves to working with local authorities and international companies on water projects in these areas.

1. The State of Water Resources
2. The Rapidly Growing Water Business
3. Shosha International Infrastructure Projects

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SHOSHA water business by region

Green Energy Production

As concern over global warming increases, calls to replace current power production methods with environmentally friendly “green energy” systems grow ever louder. Responding to increasing demand, private businesses are accelerating business activities in fields such as wind, solar and geothermal clean energy. Japanese Shosha are joining the race by utilizing long-standing partnerships with major power companies to break into the dynamic green energy field. With both emerging and developed nations expressing a desire for clean energy systems, Shosha are exploring sales, management and operation opportunities in this field worldwide.

1. The state of Green Energy
2. The Green Energy business
3. Shosha Green Energy activities

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SHOSHA Green Energy business by region

Establishing Sumatra’s First Large-Scale Geothermal Power Plant Project
Sumitomo Corporation - Ulubelu1&2 geothermal power plant project (Indonesia)

Energy and Resources

The consumption of the world's energy resources increases dramatically along with developing nations' economies. Meanwhile, the conditions for resource development and production are getting tougher, so the price of those resources continues to rise. In this situation, both the countries that supply the materials and the countries that consume them are tied up in the ever-expanding resources business. The Shosha’s role in providing a reliable supply of resources is becoming more important.

1. Resources Business: Situation and Issues
2. The Expanding Business
3. Increasing Investments in the Overseas Resources Business

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SHOSHA Energy and Resources by region

The Foods Business

As the population of the world grows and the foods in developing nations get more sophisticated, the need for high-quality food and the demand for biofuels will climb. Since the year 2000, the price of food has risen dramatically, and is expected to continue rising.

In this situation, the main consideration is how to provide a safe, stable, cheap supply of food. Japan provides about 40 percent of its own calorie baseline, and relies very heavily on food imports. Therefore, providing a stable supply of safe food is vital for Japan’s food security.

The Shosha’s forte is supplying raw food materials, and they actively invest in foodstuff and distribution companies. They are establishing a value chain from initial production to retail, and expanding in Asian countries and other regions.

1. Issues in the Foods Business
2. Expansion of the Foods Business throughout the World
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SHOSHA Foods Business by region

Infrastructure Business

Infrastructure means the facilities prepared as the underlying framework for the activities of daily life and industry. Generally, the word is used to mean facilities such as roads, railways, water supply and sewage systems, electrical grid, ports, airports, dams, and telecommunications networks; but in a broad sense, it also encompasses schools, hospitals, parks and welfare facilities.
Infrastructure is indispensable to the growth and development of cities and industry. Furthermore, since the amount of money invested in such facilities is enormous, infrastructure construction itself has a large ripple effect on the economy.

In emerging nations experiencing remarkable growth, the preparation of the infrastructure to support even further development is crucial. On the other hand, in developed countries, as the existing infrastructure becomes superannuated, in addition to the maintenance and update of the current installations, there is also a demand for infrastructure that supports new technologies and new social needs, such as Smart Cities, to create energy-efficient societies in greater harmony with the environment.

Therefore, the demand for infrastructure development is on the rise in both developed and emerging countries, making this an area of interest for business.

1. Infrastructure Business: Current Status and Issues
2. Rapidly Growing Transport Infrastructure Business
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SHOSHA Infrastructure Business by region