HARADA CORPORATION 100th Anniversary Site



Harada Corporation 100th Anniversary Site

From HARADA To EveryoneMESSAGEHarada Corporation 100th Anniversary Site

How did we survive all this time?

Since our establishment in 1923,
thanks to your support over many years,
Harada Corporation will celebrate its 100th anniversary
in March 2023.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Our business began with the importation of sheet glass,
and now a century has passed,
we globally operate a wide range of businesses
in shipbuilding/ocean development,
construction/infrastructure, electronics,
healthcare/life science, food, retail and other fields
at our bases in ten cities around the world.

We would like to present
the history of Harada Corporation
which has been filled with challenges,
and our vision for the next 100 years.


HARADA CORPORATION 100th Anniversary Site



Harada Corporation 100th Anniversary Site

100 years of companyHISTORYHarada Corporation 100th Anniversary Site

Latter Meiji period


In the early 1900s, a dedicated boy student named Kametaro Harada lived in Osaka, well known as "a city of merchants".

In the spring after graduating from junior high school, against his wish, he was sent out to an apprenticeship. To continue his learning, he took an admission test to attend high school in the fall without telling his mother. But he did not pass the test. Undeterred, he pleaded directly with the principal, and passion, was ultimately admitted. To juggle school and work, he devoted himself to studying late into the night. His hard work paid off, and he was named valedictorian at his graduation ceremony.Later, he worked hard at a trading house in

Osaka and, gaining immense confidence from

his employer, was put in charge of keeping the

company's official seal to handle decisions.

However, the company failed to cope with the

recession caused by the Russo-Japanese War of

1904-05, and was forced to liquidate.

The employer asked Kametaro to take charge of

the liquidation, and the process of liquidation

showed him many employees losing their

livelihoods. The hardship resulting from

management failure was deeply etched into

Kametaro Harada's heart.

1900 Latter Meiji period

Meiji through Taisho periods

1920 Meiji through Taisho periods

The history of Harada Corporation kicked off with the special demand for reconstruction after the Great Kanto Earthquake.

In March 1923, Kametaro established a trading company whose major business was done as the sole distributor of an American company manufacturing building plate glass.
In September of the same year, his employees were kept busy selling the glass day and night during the special procurement boom for the reconstruction following the Great Kanto Earthquake that struck the capital city, Tokyo.
This is how the long history of Harada Corporation kicked off.

1920 明治〜大正

Early Showa period

initial period

The corporation got off to a good start,
but faced a major predicament
in its fourth year.

A financial crisis occurred and only worsened in the aftermath of the Great Depression that occured two years later in 1929. It was an unprecedented situation that brought impoverishment throughout Japan. What went through Kametaro's mind at that time was the end of the company where he had worked before. He felt that he absolutely could not shut his company doors, since the livelihoods of his employees were at stake. He immediately counted the total number of employees and their families as 60, and then took measures to protect them all.As companies were going bankrupt one
after another, runs
on banks were causing
a loss in bank creditability. Kametaro

withdrew all the corporation's deposits and
drafts, and kept
them on his person at all
times. This caution led him to
move to a
sturdy, reinforced concrete office building
in the
Semba area of Osaka.

The building served as a safe to guard the
company's cash, as
well as a house to protect
the employees whom he considered
a big
family. In business, he believed it was vital
not to make
all-or-nothing gambles nor to
take major risks. Kametaro
himself to practicing solid management to

protect his company.

1930 Early Showa period

Early to mid-Showa period


Early to mid-Showa period
Early to mid-Showa period

During World War II, Harada Corporation could not conduct any foreign trade, and therefore was open but actually doing almost no business.

While it received inquiries about munitions, the corporation was not inclined to get involved in them; some conscripted employees were being killed in action.
Still, the company wanted to contribute in some way, so it donated a plane and a ship to transport the wounded and sick.

1940 Early to mid-Showa period
1940 Early to mid-Showa period

Mid-Showa period

In the post-war era, while the steel industry drove the economic recovery, Harada Corporation focused mainly on shipbuilding.

To meet frequent requests from northern European ship owners, Harada Corporation became the first Japanese trading company to open a representative office in Norway, and went on to deliver state-of-the-art European equipment to shipbuilders.
Harada Corporation leveraged its agility, which was lacking in large general trading companies, to grow this trade into a major part of its business.

1950 Mid-Showa period
1950 Mid-Showa period
1950 Mid-Showa period

Latter Showa period

transition period

The second president of Harada Corporation introduced a new way of business, keeping the philosophy of solid management.

Instead of procuring and supplying items only after they were ordered, the corporation would keep products in store as inventory. This would create some risk, but would also enable a quick response to customer orders.This decision came from the judgement that
accurately predicting customer needs secures
stable sales.

Relying on this strategy, Harada Corporation
opened local
offices in Oslo, London, and New
York in the 1960s, and
expanded its range of
products into the automotive,
and medical fields, etc.

Latter Showa period
1960 Latter Showa period

Latter Showa period

Evolved into a trading company that could respond to the changing times.

The declining shipbuilding industry in Japan and the oil shock forced us to restructure our business.
In search of new opportunities by expanding our business domain, we decided to start a full-fledged search for new business development as an offensive measure for solid management.
The business expanded into the automotive, interior furnishings and jewelry fields.

1970 Latter Showa period
1970 Latter Showa period
1970 Latter Showa period

Latter Showa period

1980 Latter Showa period1980 Latter Showa period

Received an award as the first company under the "Program to honor companies that contribute to imports".

At the time, there was a concern about the Japan-US trade dispute.
The government created an award program as a centerpiece of import promotion. Harada Corporation won the first award from former Prime Minister Uno (then Minister of International Trade and Industry) for its contribution to the importation of marine equipment.

At the time, draft beer, which had started spreading into the Japanese market, was gaining popularity and replacing bottled beer, leading to a rapid increase in sales of beer keg systems.

Early Heisei period

turning point

Built a foundation for global expansion by entering Asian markets with the electronics business at the core.

In pursuing new businesses, the first thing the corporation zeroed in on was the semiconductor field. At the time, it gathered information from the United States, a technology leader, and then went around on walk-in sales visits to all the major electronics manufacturers in Japan. That effort bore fruit, and this business went on to become one of the core businesses. Eventually, as companies shifted their production sites outside Japan, in the 1990s Harada Corporation established a supply system that would allow it to keep doing the same business overseas as well.The Singapore branch was established in
1998, and the supply of
cleanroom gloves and
development of Cleanroom garment required
HDD-related factories helped us to gain a
foothold in expanding our
business in the Asian region.

Our Cleanroom garment made of special
antistatic fabric won a great
reputation, and
was a major factor in assisting Japanese
companies to
manufacture their products

This led to the launch of our own original
brand featuring thorough
quality control,
helping us to expand our business without

We then expanded our sales to manufacturers
of electronic
components for smartphones
and automobiles, and started supplying
products to Asian countries as truly unique
cleanroom gear
indispensable for
manufacturing. Our operation bases now cover

Taiwan, China, South Korea, Thailand,
Vietnam and the Philippines.

Stories about the H-TECH project

1990 Early Heisei period
1990 Early Heisei period

turning point

The third president expanded business areas and established a joint venture company while coping with risk.

The appointment of the third president paved the way for solid management. Based on the first president's idea of "avoiding high-risk options," he was reluctant to enter food-related fields, in which the extent of company responsibility was unknown.
Despite this, after careful consideration, we decided to establish a joint venture with a food production machinery manufacturer to introduce excellent European technologies and raw materials to Japan, in which utmost care had been taken regarding risk.We started the business in a position very close
to that of a manufacturer.

The raw materials business followed this
approach, helping us to
ensure both safety and
efficiency by working closely with overseas

manufacturers and suppliers, and this became
one of our major

In the beverage business, we achieved both cost
reduction and
Japanese product quality by
outsourcing the production using
concepts from overseas to our domestic partner
under license, resulting in a stable
order flow.

This business model was also rolled out in the
construction field.

1990 Early Heisei period
1990 Early Heisei period

Mid-Heisei period

2000 Mid-Heisei period
2000 Mid-Heisei period
2000 Mid-Heisei period
2000 Mid-Heisei period

Challenge to an unexperienced "clinical trial", contributing
to the Japanese healthcare

The 21st century brought us a new challenge.
"Can any company produce a silicone fillings to treat an intractable pneumothorax (a disease in which a hole in a lung makes it impossible to breathe)?"The development of medical devices was uncharted territory for
Harada Corporation at that time.

We immediately began working with the late Dr. Yoichi Watanabe
of Okayama Red Cross Hospital on product development.

The revolutionary "Endobronchial Watanebe Spigot (EWS)" was
manufactured in France. Previously, the only available treatment
was to cut open the chest and close the holes with a bond. With
EWS, silicone spigots can be delivered through the mouth to close
the holes in the lungs, thereby reducing the burden not only on
suffering patients but also on medical doctors and hospitals.

However, the legal safety standards made it impossible to sell the
product in Japan. Eight years had passed with feelings of

Harada Corporation then decided to conduct a clinical trial by itself.

Conducting a clinical trial by a mid-sized trading company was
extremely rare. The efforts, which lasted approximately three years
have paid off and had the product approved as a medical device in

After 13 years of the product launch in
France, the dream of selling
the product
in Japan finally came true. The product
has saved many
patients' lives, as Dr.
Watanabe had wished.

The success made a big impact throughout
the niche market and the
presence of
Harada Corporation in the respiratory

Stories about the EWS project


Latter Heisei period

4th generation

2010 Latter Heisei period
2010 Latter Heisei period

The fourth president led an integrated and accelerated transformation, and took up the challenge

After the diversification, the expansion of globalization, the Lehman Shock and the Great East Japan Earthquake, the world was entering a period of further "change."
Feeling a sense of crisis, the fourth president and the employees reexamined the strengths and raison d'être of Harada Corporation.
They then decided to take on the challenge of change rather than
just maintaining the status quo. In addition to our Asian bases,
which we had kept expanding, we opened an office in Germany
aiming to grow our business in Europe.

We also developed a diverse approach to people,
information and products while actively adopting M&A strategies.

We shifted from the traditional in-house approach of
doing everything ourselves to open innovation,
continually challenging ourselves to practice solid management.

2010 Latter Heisei period
2010 Latter Heisei period
2010 Latter Heisei period

Responded decisively to the diversifying needs of our customers.

We started offering custom-made workwear for a wide variety of industries and a wide range of customers. This was meant to directly improve organizational morale and corporate branding, but expensive manufacturing costs for conventional custom-made models left us with only a couple options; making a proposal based on a large lot production or ready-made products.In response, Harada Corporation solved the problem by establishing
its own factory.

We established a factory in Vietnam capable of
responding to
specialized requests to meet the
diverse needs of our customers,
even with small-lot orders.

Evolving to the next level of service quality, the
factory has now
grown to more than 100 employees.

2010 Latter Heisei period

Building up a structure to supply the products and services stably

It had been almost 40 years since we started our business in the medical field.
Our medical team had built up strong relationships with healthcare professionals, local distributors and overseas manufacturers, which lead to expanding our product lineup and sales.
Aiming to expand sales channels and products, we established a company
Harada Sansei Medical Supply Corporation by acquiring a company specialized
for distributing obstetrics and gynecology products.

Although the number of births in Japan was
declining, the importance of
obstetrics and
gynecology would remain the same also in
the future.

Continuously supplying reliable products
and services for this niche market is
essential. That is also one of our important missions.


Heisei through Reiwa periods


Endless challenges.

As part of the open innovation policy, we created a department dedicated to promoting new business development.
The "HARADA ACCELERATOR PROGRAM" was launched to promote co-creation activities with startups operating around the world, and six-month-long programs were completed twice, despite the Corona crisis.In 2022, we also invested in Harada Corporation's first startup with a view to future
collaboration in global expansion.

In addition, we acquired the medical device business of EFER, France, to scale up the
global perspective of Harada Corporation, which is increasingly trusted due to the success of its clinical trials.

Despite being a mid-sized trading company, we came to build a foundation on a par
with medical device manufacturers.

We have significantly diversified our approaches from our product-oriented business
model, and we will continue to take on the endless challenges by tirelessly evolving.

2020 Heisei through Reiwa periods
2020 Heisei through Reiwa periods
2020 Heisei through Reiwa periods



HARADA CORPORATION 100th Anniversary Site

To the futureNEXT STEPS

Since the establishment of Harada Corporation in 1923,
we have moved forward together with the development of Japan's industry through trading.
In recent years, we have been adopting a variety of approaches
to incorporate new developments as we expand our business domain.

Nowadays, the business environment surrounding us is changing drastically
from one day to the next, and at an astonishing pace.
We intend to be a company that not only fulfills the roles
it has played up until now as a trading company,
but also quickly provides value-added services and ideas that only we can offer,
responds to partners' needs in a timely manner,
goes forward together with our customers, and at times even pulls them along.

Challenge, the origin of all.Make the best move.