Reestablishing a corporate identity
Following the end of WWII, the Allied Forces in Japan demanded the dissolution of the zaibatsu that had held so much power in the prewar period ending nearly 70 years of Mitsubishi’s leadership by four generations of the Iwasaki family. In September 1946 the company disbanded its headquarters, and its network of affiliates and subsidiaries were all re-launched as independent companies. Moreover, GHQ orders strictly prohibited the use of the Mitsubishi trade name or logo.
The San Francisco Peace Accord in 1952 brought about a repeal of the ban on using zaibatsu trade names and logos. With this change, former Mitsubishi group companies reclaimed the Mitsubishi name and in 1954, the once-divided Mitsubishi Corporation conducted a series of mergers leading to an overall merger into a single entity.
A new era in weather forecasting
The typhoon Isewan struck the Kii Peninsula on September 26, 1959, killing more than 5,000 and injuring about 40,000 Japanese citizens, and becoming Japan’s most destructive typhoon in more than a century. In the wake of this natural disaster, the Japanese government moved to build weather warning facilities, establishing a weather observatory on the summit of Mt. Fuji and ushering in a new era of meteorological observation systems throughout the country. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation received the order to build the facility.
On August 15, 1964, construction of the radar towers atop Mt. Fuji was completed, establishing Japan’s first early warning weather system. The range of the new facility was 800 kilometers. Over the following 35 years, the Mt. Fuji radar system continued to play a key role in Japan’s early-warning weather systems.
In March 2000, the Mt. Fuji radar system was recognized as an important milestone by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) of the U.S., as a noteworthy example in the history of electrical engineering for weather radar operation.
The Tokyo Olympics and the regeneration of the Mitsubishi Group
In 1964, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) completed the reunification of its former companies. In September of the same year, the Mitsubishi Public Affairs Committee was established with the mission of increasing the Mitsubishi Group’s involvement in community activities and its contribution to society overall. The move was also designed to increase public recognition for the Mitsubishi brand and to enhance communication among the growing numbers of companies comprising the Mitsubishi Group. In October of the same year, the opening of the Tokyo Olympics realized Japan’s long-held desire and allowed the country to demonstrate to the whole world that it had truly recovered.
A new era in corporate responsibility and leadership
During the 1960s, enterprises closely aligned with Mitsubishi began to strengthen their mutual links. At the same time, Mitsubishi took a positive approach to foreign capital. For example, Mitsubishi Petrochemical Co., Ltd. (currently Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation) was established in 1956 as a joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell Group; Mitsubishi Reynolds Aluminum Co., Ltd. (currently Mitsubishi Aluminum Co., Ltd.) and Mitsubishi Precision Co., Ltd. were formed in 1962 as joint ventures with Reynolds International, Inc. and General Precision Inc., respectively.
The rapid growth of the Japanese economy during the 1950s and 60s was due in no small part to the astounding growth in the manufacture of consumer products and the expansion of consumer markets. Following close behind was growth in credit card businesses, of which Mitsubishi was a key player, organizing Diamond Credit Co., Ltd. (currently Mitsubishi UFJ NICOS Co., Ltd.) in 1967.