Toray Industries

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Toray Industries, Inc.
Native name
Romanized name
Tōre Kabushiki-gaisha
Company type Public (K.K)
TYO: 3402
TOPIX 100 Component
Nikkei 225 Component
Industry Chemicals
FoundedJanuary 1926;98 years ago (1926-01)
Headquarters5F, Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower 2-1-1, Nihonbashi-Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8666, Japan
Area served
Key people
Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman
Akihiro Nikkaku, president
RevenueIncrease2.svg $ 17.86 billion (FY 2014) (¥ 1,837 billion) (FY 2014)
Increase2.svg $ 579 million (FY 2014) (¥ 59.6 billion) (FY 2014)
Owner The Master Trust Bank of Japan (7.90%)
Japan Trustee Services Bank (6.43%)
Nippon Life (4.45%)
Mitsui Fudosan (1.19%)
Mitsubishi Heavy Industry (0.51%)
Number of employees
45,881 (consolidated, as of March 31, 2014)
Website Official website
Footnotes /references
[1] [2] [3]

Toray Industries, Inc. (東レ株式会社, Tōre Kabushiki-gaisha) is a multinational corporation headquartered in Japan that specializes in industrial products centered on technologies in organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biochemistry.


Its founding business areas were fibers and textiles, as well as plastics and chemicals. The company has also diversified into areas such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and R&D, medical products, reverse osmosis big membranes, electronics, IT-products, housing and engineering, as well as advanced composite materials.

The company is listed on the first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the TOPIX 100 [4] and Nikkei 225 [5] stock market indices.


Toray Industries had been originally established as Toyo Rayon in 1926 by Mitsui Bussan, one of the two largest Japanese trading companies (sogo shosha) of the time (the other being Mitsubishi Shoji). The fact that Mitsui did not allow the company to be named as a Mitsui company indicates their skepticism of the risk on the business. Risk arose from the fact that, when it was established, the company did not have the right technology to produce Rayon. It had approached Courtaulds and then Du Pont to buy the technology but, because the price was too high, it decided to buy equipment from a German engineering company and hire about twenty foreign engineers to start the operation. [6]

When Nylon was invented in 1935 by Wallace Carothers of DuPont, Toray immediately got hold of a sample product through the New York City branch of Mitsui Bussan, and started research by dissolving this sample in sulfuric acid. Because of the patent protection, the company had to make its own effort to synthesize polyamide and make fibre out of it. In 1941, just three years after Du Pont's announcement of nylon, Toray completed the basic research on nylon and started building a small plant to produce Nylon 6. The operation started in 1943 and the product was sold, mainly to make fishing nets.

In 1946, following the end of World War II, Du Pont requested an investigation by GHQ (the General Headquarters of Allied Powers) of Toray's infringement of Du Pont's nylon patents but GHQ found no evidence of infringement, certifying that Toray's nylon technology was its own. [6]

Toray is currently the world's largest producer of carbon fiber, and Japan's largest producer of synthetic fiber. [7] Its carbon fiber is extensively used in exterior components of the Boeing 787 airliner. [8]

In September 2013, Toray Industries announced a plan to buy Zoltek for half a billion dollars. The company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Toray and continued operating as a separate business unit. [9] [10]

In 2014, as a major aerospace composites supplier, Toray opened a polyacrylonitrile (PAN), the carbon fiber precursor, production line in Lacq, south-western France. [11]

In November 2017, Toray admitted to committing 149 quality data falsifications between 2008 and 2016, including on tests run on tire-strengthening cords. As clients to Toray, the companies Boeing and Uniqlo may have been affected. [12] [13]


In 2013, Toray acquired an approximately 13% stake in Spectral Diagnostics, a Canadian pharmaceutical company focused on sepsis. [14]

In March 2018, Toray announced it would acquire TenCate Advanced Composites to advance carbon fiber production capabilities. [15]

See also

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  1. "Company Outline" . Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  2. "Financial Results 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  3. "Company Board of Directors" . Retrieved 2 August 2014.
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  5. "Components:Nikkei Stock Average". Nikkei Inc. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  6. 1 2 Odagiri, Hiroyuki (1996). Technology and Industrial Development in Japan. Clarendon Press, Oxford. pp. 88, 127–128. ISBN   0-19-828802-6.
  7. "Toray planning 50%-plus boost in carbon fiber capacity". Nikkei Asian Review. Nikkei Inc. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  8. Suga, Masumi (20 November 2007). "Boeing, Toray in Talks to Expand $6 Billion 787 Deal (Update5)". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  9. Kubo, Nobuhiro; Saito, Mari (26 September 2013). "Japan's Toray agrees to buy U.S. Zoltek for $584 million". Reuters. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  10. marketwatch Toray completes acquisition of Zoltek.
  11. Thierry Dubois (11 October 2018). "New Carbon Fiber Factory In France Key For Airbus And Safran". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  12. "Japan Inc scandals widen as Toray admits cheating". Reuters. 28 November 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  13. Soble, Jonathan (28 November 2017). "Japan's Toray, a Major Supply Chain Link, Says It Falsified Data". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  14. "Toray takes $5M Stake in Spectral Diagnostics". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (paper). 1 April 2013. p. 12.
  15. Sloan, Jeff (14 March 2018). "Toray acquires TenCate Advanced Composites". Retrieved 15 March 2018.