CHAPTER 1INTRODUCTION1.1 Mitsubishi Group
(also known as the
Mitsubishi Group of Companies
) is a group of autonomous Japanese multinational companies covering a range of businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark, and legacy.The Mitsubishi group of companies forms a loose entity, the Mitsubishi Keiretsu, which is oftenreferenced in Japanese and US media and official reports; in general these companies all descendfrom the zaibatsu of the same name. The top 25 companies are also members of the Mitsubishi
, or "Friday Club", and meet monthly. In addition the Mitsubishi.com Committee existsto facilitate communication and access of the Mitsubishi brand through a portal web site.
The Mitsubishi Company was first established as a shipping firm by
1885) in 1870. In 1873, its name was changed to Mitsubishi Shokai . The name Mitsubishi(consists of two parts: "mitsu" meaning "three" and "hishi" (which becomes "bishi" under rendaku)meaning"water caltrop"(also called "water chestnut"), and hence"rhombus", which is
reflected in the company's famouslogo.It is also translated as "three diamonds".Mitsubishi had been established in 1870, two years after theMeiji Restoration,with shipping asits core business. Its diversification was mostly into related fields. It entered into coal-mining togain the coal needed for ships, bought a shipbuilding yard from the government to repair theships it used, founded an iron mill to supply iron to the shipbuilding yard, started amarineinsurance business to cater for its shipping business, and so forth. Later, the managerial resourcesand technological capabilities acquired through the operation of shipbuilding were utilized toexpand the business further into the manufacture of aircraft and equipment. Similarly, theexperience of overseas shipping led the firm to enter into a trading business.