Sojitz was formed from three companies founded in the Osaka/Kobe area after Commodore Perry’s arrival in Japan: Japan Cotton Trading Co., Iwai & Co., and Suzuki & Co.
Japan Cotton Trading Co. was established to procure cotton from abroad, while Iwai & Co. and Suzuki & Co.’s trading with the foreign settlement in Kobe helped them to expand into the manufacturing business. Suzuki grew to become Japan’s top sogo shosha following World War I, but fell to bankruptcy after that. It was later revived as Nissho Co.
After World War II, these companies utilized Japan’s rapid economic growth to diversify their businesses and secure energy and resources for the nation. They played a vital role in the export of Japanese-made products and industrial plants, contributing to the internationalization of Japanese industry. They also came to support the economic growth of developing countries, and for many years, have worked to create prosperity not only for Japan, but for the world at large.