History of Kao's Chemical Business

Chemical Products Meeting the Needs of Many Industries All Over the World

Kao manufactured the first soap made in Japan 120 years ago. Throughout our history as a chemical maker, we have produced a wide range of products for various industries in the chemical industry field. Here is a brief look at events relating to chemical business at Kao over the years.

1887 Japan Opening of Nagase Shoten in Tokyo, Japan by Kao's founder, Mr. Tomiro Nagase
1923 Japan

Tokyo Azuma factory (currently Tokyo Plant) began producing soap Struggled to expand production scale of soaps and shifted to full glycerin production

1925 Japan Establishment of Kao Sekken Nagase Shokai Co., Ltd.
Aimed at mass production and mass selling and undertook management modernization
1928 Japan Sales of ECONA edible oil for food industry use begun
Results from research into fats, the raw material used to produce soap, enabled Japan's first sales of shortening oil
1935 Japan Based on detached Azuma factory, Dai Nihon Yushi Co., Ltd. established
Sales of coconut fatty acid begun
1937 Japan Sales of fatty alcohol (octyl alcohol) begun
1939 Japan Hydrogenation and dehydration (HD) process invented
1940 Japan Nihon Yuki Co., Ltd. established through fifty-fifty investment with Tekkosha Co., Ltd.
Sakata Plant commenced operations in northern Japan
1944 Japan Dai Nihon Yushi's Wakayama Plant commenced operations in western Japan
Began trial production of aircraft lubricating oil
1946 Japan Kao Sekken Nagase Shokai Co., Ltd. renamed Kao Co., Ltd.
1949 Japan Nihon Yuki Co., Ltd. renamed Kao Soap Co., Ltd.
At the same time, Kao Yushi Co., Ltd. established through the merger of Kao Co., Ltd and Dai Nihon Yushi Co., Ltd.
1950 Japan Sales of VINYCIZER plasticizer begun
1951 Japan Sales of surfactants begun
1952 Japan Sales of FARMIN fatty amine begun
1954 Japan Kao Soap Co., Ltd. established through the merger of Kao Soap Co., Ltd. and Kao Yushi Co., Ltd.
Sales of NEW ECONA shortening begun (cooking oil division)
1961 Japan KAOLIZER urethane form catalysts, which served as the initial step towards the future development of urethane business
1964 Japan Industrial Science Research Laboratories established in Wakayama
Tokyo Research Laboratories established in 1967 to enhance R&D activities
Sales of MIGHTY concrete additives begun
Producing high-strength and high-durability concrete, MIGHTY is used for building expressways, skyscrapers and other structures
Worldwide Kao Industrial (Thailand) Co., Ltd. established
Kao (Taiwan) Corporation established
1970 Japan

Sales of De-inking agent for recycling waste paper begun

Worldwide Sinor Kao S.A. (now Kao Corporation S.A.) established in Spain
1974 Japan Kao-Quaker Co., Ltd. established (furan resin for casting. Joint venture with Quaker Oats Co.(U.S.) and became a fully-owned subsidiary in 1997)
1975 Worldwide Quimi-Kao S.A. de C.V. established in Mexico
1977 Worldwide Pilipinas Kao, Inc. established as a joint venture company with Aboitiz & Co., Inc. in the Philippines. Plant built in Mindanao in 1979, and production of fatty alcohol, etc. made from coconut fatty acid begun
P.T. Polekao Indonesia Chemicals (now P.T. Kao Indonesia Chemicals) established
1978 Japan Establishment of Tochigi Research Laboratories
1980 Japan Kashima Plant, the second domestic chemical plant after our Wakayama Plant, began operation
Sales of toner binders for copiers begun
Sales of toners begun in 1983
1981 Japan Toyohashi Plant completed. Began operating as our main plant for producing binder for casting
1987 Worldwide High Point Chemical Corporation (now Kao Specialties Americas LLC) acquired in the United States
1988 Worldwide Fatty Chemical (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. established
Kao (Southeast Asia) Pte. Ltd. (now Kao (Singapore) Private Ltd.) established
1991 Japan

Sales of CLEANTHROUGH cleaning agent for alternative chlorofluorocarbons begun

Worldwide Kao Oleochemical (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. established
1992 Worldwide Chemische Fabrik CHEM-Y GmbH (now Kao Chemicals GmbH) acquired in Germany
1995 Worldwide Kao Plasticizer (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. established and production of plasticizers begun
Kao Chemical Corporation Shanghai established in China
1996 Worldwide Kao Chemicals GmbH in Germany: Tertiary amine production plant opened
Kao Specialties Americas LLC in USA: Toner binders production plant operated and its sales begun
Kao Corporation S.A. in Spain: New plant for aroma chemicals opened
1997 Worldwide Kao Chemical Corporation Shanghai in China: New sulfation facilities and manufacturing plant for MIGHTY concrete additive opened
1998 Japan New fragrance production facility opened at the Wakayama Plant
2001 Japan

Production and sales of polishing agents for hard disk manufacturing begun

Worldwide New plants for fragrance and toner binder go into operation and sales begun at Kao Corporation S.A. in Spain
2002 Japan Production and sales of colorants for inkjet printers begun
Worldwide Fatty alcohol production plant expanded at Fatty Chemical (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. in Malaysia
2004 Worldwide

New plant for producing MIGHTY concrete additive opened at Kao Chemicals GmbH in Germany

2005 Worldwide New plant opened in Thailand to boost production base in Southeast Asia
Kao Chemicals GmbH in Germany: Tertiary amine production plant expanded
2006 Worldwide Kao Chemical Corporation Shanghai in China: New plant for producing refrigerant oil base built
2007 Worldwide New plant in Pilipinas Kao, Inc. plant goes into operation, expanding yearly production capacity for fatty alcohol to 300 thousand tons together with our Malaysia plant
Kao Group