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400-year-old Mitsui goes through identity crisis

Change has helped the sogo shosha to survive as a mercurial, shape-shifting enterprise

Even Mr Iijima, a 40-year veteran of the company, struggled to answer the question: What does Mitsui actually do? He decided in mid-2014 to launch the company's first corporate branding exercise.


IT EARNS more than Coca-Cola, has operations in as many countries as Starbucks, boasts a payroll almost as long as Google and has been around longer than Philadelphia. Yet many consumers outside of Japan probably have not heard of it.

This is the great Japanese trading house...

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