Japan Pail Corp.

CEO & President

Masamichi Nogami

Message to young people
Tackle a difficult task without flinching. Your potential is limitless.

I was born in Nagasaki in 1950. My family was so impoverished that I given up for adoption. I remember my foster mother working hard day and night, despite her physical weakness. I also gained a lot of experience from my years at university.

Upon graduation in 1973, I entered Nissho-Iwai Corp., a major trading company (now Sojitz Corp. after its merger with trading house Nichimen), where I was assigned to the iron and steel department. Contrary to my previous image of a trading company employee who travels around the world on business, I dealt daily with iron and steel wholesalers and processors in the Osaka area. Over about 30 years, I handled almost all kinds of steel products.

About a decade ago, in the early 2000s, I experienced hardships when Nissho-Iwai’s management crisis came to the fore and compelled the company to withdraw its investment in 17 companies, including subsidiaries which were under my command. My bosses demanded that I implement the withdrawal task without generating losses to the parent company. I was not allowed to seek any financial support from the parent company for the withdrawal process. The only tool available was my intellect. Those years were exceptionally tough and demanding. I worked with hardly any sleep, with only 10 days off, over a period of 1,000 days.

Meanwhile, I was transferred to Nissho Iwai subsidiary Unicon in summer 2002 in the wake of the sudden death of its president, on tacit condition that I would become the president of Unicon. Unicon was to constitute the basis of Japan Pail, which was formed in 2004 as a result of the mergers of Unicon, Daido Metal Works Co. and the pail division of JFE Container Co.

In the initial stage of its birth, Japan Pail was not easy to manage due to the conflict of interests among the three distinct firms. The consolidation of working conditions was the most troublesome issue. It took me five years to rectify the salary gap among employees in the merged company. On Jan. 1, 2010, the company’s three predecessor unions were, after much strife, formerly merged into the Japan Pail Labor Union. This was a big achievement and a touching moment for me.

Domestic demand for pail cans in general has been slipping since its peak in 1990, and in the long term, the shrinkage of the pail can industry is unavoidable. In such circumstances, the biggest challenge for Japan Pail is how to develop a long-term business strategy for its continued growth. In this context, I visited China, which is rapidly growing, in fall 2009 to conduct a feasibility study on our company’s entry into the Chinese market.

Company Profile

Japan Pail Corp.
Production and distribution of pail cans