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1970-1979

Acetic acid production facility utilizing the methanol carbonylation process
Acetic acid production facility
utilizing the methanol
carbonylation process
In Japan, the growth of the chemical industry depended on the development of the petrochemical industry. In our company, therefore, commercialization of various petrochemical products increased the importance of the organic chemical manufacturing business. However, as the petrochemical industry tended to create "prosperity without profits," we had to pursue economies of scale, take on debt to enlarge our scale, and engage in excessive competition.

As a result of our low business income and poor financial condition, we adopted "emergency personnel measures" in 1971. As a result, 784 of our employees (about 20 percent of the employees at that time) accepted an offer of voluntary retirement. This bitter experience is reflected in our present policy to "place importance on our people."

After that, we promoted increased profit and improved our foundation, thus improving our business standing.

In 1974, the fourth Middle East War sparked an oil crisis and a long depression in the global economy. To implement measures against the low economic growth, we undertook a review of our cellophane business in light of the gradual reduction in demand for cellophane at that time. In 1975, the Kanzaki Plant finally stopped production of cellophane material.

While implementing these measures, we also promoted commercialization of acetic acid using the methanol carbonylation process. In 1979, we started production of acetic acid using this method and promoted the implementation of C1 chemistry.
Significant events of that era
1970: An international exposition is held in Japan.
An international exposition was held in Osaka with the participation of 77 countries and four international organizations. A total of 64,218,770 visitors attended the exposition, representing the largest number in the history of international expositions.
1972: Okinawa is returned.
Okinawa remained under the control of the U.S.A. for 27 years, but an agreement on returning Okinawa to Japanese control finally came into effect on May 15. As a result, the U.S.A. returned Okinawa to Japan.
1972: Diplomatic relations with China are restored.
On September 29, the Japan-China joint statement was issued at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to restore diplomatic relations between Japan and the People's Republic of China. In August 1978, the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship was concluded and the relationship between Japan and China was improved.
1975: First international Summit Meeting is held.
The first Summit Meeting was held at Rambouillet in the suburbs of Paris. Six countries participated in the Summit: the U.S.A., the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Japan. Later, Canada, Russia, and the President of the European Commission also became members of the Summit, and the Summit became known as the summit of the leading nations.