SHOSHA Activities - Involvement in Economic Advancement

Involvement in Economic Advancement

Shosha activities are constantly being diversified. These trading companies are continually developing business and expanding the scope of their transactions according to the demands of the time.

Postwar recovery period: Promoted the growth of light industries
(textiles, food products, etc.)
Postwar Economic Growth: Contributed to the growth of heavy and chemical industries
(steel, machinery and plants, petrochemicals, etc.)
Post-Oil Crisis (1970s): Promoted the development and stable supply of oil-alternative energy resources
Post-Plaza Accord (1980s): Expanded overseas production, promoted product imports to Japan, offered official development assistance (ODA), and engaged with domestic-demand oriented industries
1990s to Present: Promoted businesses in new growth fields, including IT & telecommunications, logistics, financing, emerging technology, and eco-technology

During the economic recovery period immediately following World War II, establishing a sufficient supply of living essentials was the most pressing concern. Under these circumstances, Shosha – who had largely suspended business activity during the war - recommenced business primarily in light industry, such as in textiles and food products. Japan subsequently entered a period of booming economic growth, and Shosha operations were broadened to include the steel, shipbuilding, heavy machinery and plants, electrical equipment and chemicals fields as heavy industries emerged.

Active on the trade front in Japan, whose economic growth largely depended upon foreign trade, Shosha gradually built global networks to link Japan with the international community.

When the Japanese economy was hit twice by oil crises in the 1970s, Shosha turned their attention to ensuring a stable supply of energy resources. It was during this period that they began to step up their involvement in large-scale energy resource development projects, including oil alternatives.

As the nation's living standard rose, Shosha also became involved in urban development and the housing industry.
The conclusion of the Plaza Accord in the mid 1980s was promptly followed by the rapid appreciation of the yen, which triggered a surge in direct investment in foreign countries and a shift to overseas production.

At this time, Shosha also deepened their involvement in the cultivation of export industries and supporting industries in developing nations. At the same time, they promoted imports to Japan, and stepped up involvement in ODA-related projects and infrastructure development.

In Japan, Shosha were looking to new business fields outside the trade sector with a view to stimulating a domestic demand-oriented economy. More specifically, they carved out a domain in satellite communications and broadcasting.

Since the 1990's, Shosha have been moving into information technology (IT), strengthening logistics technology (LT) and finance technology (FT) and making progress in new territories such as emerging technology, health care, and eco-technology.

The beginning of the 21st century saw an increasingly globalized world and a centralized European currency in the form of the Euro. Faced with the global economic crisis and emerging markets in developing countries, Shosha have been structurally reforming their businesses, giving due consideration to improving capital efficiency, and strengthening earnings power and risk management capabilities so that they may be poised to take advantage of new and promising markets. BRICS nations and other developing economies will factor heavily into Shosha business plans going forward.

Shosha have always stayed with and sometimes ahead of the needs of each new era, and have constantly expanded and diversified their business scope. This high degree of flexibility is exactly what Shosha thrive on.