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

As Representative Director and President, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the support and understanding extended to Kuraray Co., Ltd. and the Kuraray Group.

My name is Hitoshi Kawahara and I was appointed Representative Director and President of Kuraray Co., Ltd. as of January 1 this year. In this position, I intend to commit myself wholeheartedly to working together with employees around the world to realize a company that is valued by all Kuraray Group stakeholders, not least its customers and shareholders

Kuraray was founded in 1926 with the objective of commercializing rayon, which was a state-of-the-art technology at the time. Since then, we have vigorously pursued social responsibility and proprietary technologies, seeking to uphold our mission: For people and the planet—to achieve what no one else can.

In 1950, after World War II, we successfully commercialized polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fiber, which was Japan’s first synthetic fiber, and thereby ushered in the pioneering period of Japan’s synthetic fibers industry. In commercializing PVA fibers, we recognized the importance of integrated production from a technological standpoint—that “we cannot improve quality without managing everything from the fiber’s raw materials”—and overcame many difficulties to manufacture PVA resins ourselves. This conviction is at the heart of what makes us the company we are today.

Since then, we have transitioned from a fiber manufacturer to a chemical company on the strength of our proprietary technologies in high-performance fibers, resins and chemicals fostered through “technological development and production starting with raw materials”. As a “specialty chemical company” dedicated to originality, we have created many businesses and products with top market shares globally, especially in vinyl acetate-related businesses.

The future of the world economy remains unclear due to the spread of covid-19. Under these conditions, we will closely monitor changes in society, such as in the way that people work and the expanded use of digital technology. We will be adventurous, without clinging to the status quo, with a determination to “progress through change”, overcome the current difficulties and define a clear path forward.

There is an ever-increasing demand for corporations to take more responsibility towards the realization of a sustainable society by adopting measures to tackle climate change and plastic waste and accelerating the transformation to a circular economy. We remain committed to our mission to “develop new fields of business using pioneering technology that improves the environment and enhances the quality of life throughout the world” and will endeavor to grow and prosper together with society and be an “indispensable company” that is loved and needed by the world.

I look forward to your continued support and understanding will be greatly appreciated.

Hitoshi Kawahara
Representative Director and President