Message from the President

Masaaki Ito Representative Director and President Kuraray Co., Ltd.
For people and the planet—to achieve what no one else can.

For people and the planet—to achieve what no one else can.

Message from the President

Kuraray was founded in 1926 for the purpose of commercializing synthetic rayon, which was a cutting-edge technology at the time. Inspired by our mission of “For people and the planet—to achieve what no one else can,” we have been committed to social responsibility and to developing proprietary technology over the ensuing 90 years.

Following the Second World War, in 1950 we commercialized polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fiber, under the brand name KURALON™. It was the first synthetic fiber invented in Japan, and led the early phase of Japan’s synthetic fiber industry. Commercializing KURALON™ made us acutely aware that production integrated from fiber raw materials onward is technologically critical to superior quality. We therefore overcame multiple challenges to establish our own PVA resin production capabilities. This commitment remains fundamental to Kuraray.

This corporate culture has been the driving force for expanding business operations into high-performance fibers, resins and chemicals based on polymer and synthetic technologies. Our long-term vision for our 100th anniversary in 2026 includes the definition of Kuraray as a “Specialty Chemical Company, growing sustainably by incorporating new foundational platforms into our own technologies.”

We launched a new medium-term management plan, “PROUD 2020,” in 2018 to guide us through the three years ending December 2020 in making investments and implementing other major initiatives to achieve our long-term vision. Our goal is to ensure that our stakeholders can be proud of the Kuraray Group, and we are implementing specific measures, one-by-one, to ensure the success of four key management strategies: pursue competitive superiority, expand new business fields, enhance the comprehensive strength of the Kuraray Group, and contribute to the environment.

Our focus on pursuing competitive superiority will involve creating new demand by developing high-value-added products and applications based on customer needs. Furthermore, we will improve our own technologies and incorporate external technologies to expand into new business fields that are incrementally different from but peripheral to existing businesses. We plan to invest aggressively in growth. Strategic investments will include constructing a new VAM plant in the United States and introducing a global SAP system. Other investments in growth will include expanding facilities for vinyl acetate-related businesses, liquid rubber and dental materials.

Moreover, we intend to grow activated carbon into a core business that complements vinyl acetate. We will therefore move quickly to generate synergies with Calgon Carbon Corporation, a global leader in activated carbon materials that we acquired in March 2018. We are also preparing to start operations of an isoprene plant in Thailand in 2021 or soon thereafter to support global growth in this business.

Through these initiatives, Kuraray will continue growing along with with Group companies and employees while also contributing to society through its businesses. “We are committed to developing new fields of business using pioneering technology that improves the environment and enhances the quality of life throughout the world.” We remain devoted to fulfilling this mission while supporting global manufacturing and the affluence of society.

As always, we are counting on your continued support.

Masaaki Ito
Representative Director and President