Nippon Steel Essay

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Nippon Steel Corp. (Shin Nippon Seitetsu Kabushikigaisha in Japanese) is one of the principal  iron and integrated  steelmakers in the world. The company is also Japan’s largest steelmaker, with production capacity of more than 30 million tons annually. As a group of companies, it is also engaged in various engineering and construction activities, production of chemicals, and development of new materials.

Nippon Steel operates primarily in Japan. Its subsidiary companies include Nippon Styrene Monomer Co. Ltd., Nippon  Micrometal  Corp.,  Nippon  Steel Chemical  Korea  Co.  Ltd., NSCC  Asia Ltd.  (Hong Kong), Nippon Technoresearch Corporation and Nippon Steel Chemical Carbon  Co. Ltd. The company’s global strategic alliances and joint business activities vary from different levels of core-steel production to logistics and technical issues. The company employs around 47,000 people (as of January 1, 2008). Its headquarters is located in Tokyo.

The company  generates  revenue  from  six business divisions: steelmaking and steel fabrication (80 percent  of total revenue in 2007), engineering  and construction (7 percent  of total  revenue  in 2007), urban   development   (2  percent   of  total  revenue in 2007), chemicals  (6 percent  of total  revenue  in 2007), new materials (2 percent  of total revenue in 2007), and system solutions (3 percent  of total revenue in 2007).

The steelmaking segment  produces  multipurpose and multiservice products such as electric power supply and services, fabricated and processed steels, titanium,  and  flat-rolled  products.  In addition,  this segment designs and provides maintenance for equipment,  transportation, facility management,  and related analysis and testing.

Among the other segments, the engineering and construction segment  provides  civil engineering  and marine construction, which includes natural  gas platforms and undersea pipeline infrastructure. The urban development  segment  is responsible  for effective use of idle land owned by the company. This segment also provides housing  and large-scale urban  development operations, including real estate and rental of buildings. The chemicals segment  provides industrial  chemicals as raw materials  for other  products,  such as materials for liquid crystal displays (LCDs). This segment is well known for its large share of the global market for advanced electronic materials. The new materials segment provides advanced composite materials for industrial  use, including  fine ceramics,  bonding  wires for semiconductors, and carbon fibers. Finally, the system solutions segment provides engineering consultation services on computer systems related to industrial use.

History And Market Position

Nippon  Steel was formed  in 1970 as a result of the merger  of Yawata Iron  and Steel and Fuji Iron  and Steel, both of which were established in 1950. During the 1980s, the company expanded its operations  into other  segments,  such  as new materials  (1984) and electronics (1986). Throughout  the 1990s and 2000s, Nippon  Steel progressed  its business operations  by conducting  joint ventures  and  strategic  alliances in different geographical markets.

Key employees of Nippon  Steel include Akio Mimura (president), Akira Chihaya (chairman), Hideaki  Sekizawa, Shoji Muneoka,  Hiroshi  Shima, Kiichiroh Masuda, and Bun’yuu Futamura.

The company is the dominant power in the Japanese market, not only in crude-steel  production,  but also in nonferrous  materials. Some of its unique chemical products that are used in consumer  electronics, such as plasma displays and  cellular phones,  hold about half of the  market  share.  This share  is meaningful considering the constantly growing household-appliances market,  especially in countries  such as China and  India.  Its prevailing  market  position  gives the firm the advantage of economy of scale and increases its bargaining power.

Nippon Steel is known for technological innovations. The company’s research and development achievements result in low production costs, making the company competitive in the worldwide steel industry.


  1. Adam Paul Brunet and Steve New, “Kaizen in Japan:  An Empirical Study,” International  Journal of Operations and  Production Management  (v.23/11–12, 2003);
  2. Nippon Steel, (cited March 2009).

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