Cool Running Yashima Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.

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Category: Japanese Design & Daily goods

Spotlight at Osaka Expo '70

The Expo '70 in Osaka highlighted Japan's emergence as a major global financial power. The world fair saw various nations set up pavilions to showcase culture and technology, and to interchange ideas. This exchange had a seismic effect on Osaka-based company Yashima Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. When engineers at the United Kingdom pavilion found they needed cooling water for their display machinery, they sampled a few different brands before settling on Yashima's. So happy with it, they even displayed the product alongside the UK exhibit.


Daisuke Yamamoto, the company's general manager


Radiator coolant was one of the company's first products

A period of growth

Four years before it was thrust into the global spotlight at the Expo, Yashima Chemical Industry was born into humble beginnings. Founder Kiyoshi Kawanishi left his job as employee at a medium-sized chemical manufacturer to set up on his own with his wife. At first they concentrated on two main products: coolant and window-washing fluid. Publicity from the Expo provided a massive impetus for the company's growth and before long, Kawanishi had expanded his workforce and set up a factory.

Professional auto care

Nearly 50 years later, Kawanishi's grandson Daisuke Yamamoto is general manager. The team of 25 at Yashima Chemical Industry are behind an array of products for automobile maintenance under the company's own brand Car Cool. The catalogue includes brake fluid, oil and fuel additives, air-conditioning oil, battery fluids, detergents and air fresheners. Yamamoto says his customers are primarily gas stations and other auto-maintenance shops that perform checkups on cars. The company also makes OEM car-care products for Japanese auto manufacturers and gas stations.


Yashima Chemical Industry produces a full line of car care products, such as this fuel additive to improve engine] performance performance


Yashima Chemical Industry's factory also makes some Car Cool product containers

Quality in total production

Yashima Chemical Industry was founded upon the principle of producing top quality products. To that end it has obtained Japan Industrial Standard (JIS) certification for its coolants. Quality coolants last longer, meaning fluids need not be changed as often. The coolants also work to protect engines from rust and corrosion. Not only does the company make its own products, it even makes the containers they come in. Yamamoto refers to his company's use of recycled plastics in the production of bottles and caps, which cuts costs as well as being more environmentally friendly.

Overseas direct

For about a decade the company has exported its products through trading companies, with Russia one of the principle destinations. "They trust the 'Made in Japan' brand," says Yamamoto, who has been leading efforts to develop direct business with other overseas customers. The company now boasts key customer bases in Cyprus and Singapore, with the latter serving neighboring markets in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Emerging markets

Use of the automobile continues to rise around the world. And while car demand in emerging markets continues to heat up, Yashima Chemical Industry will be there to cool the engines down.