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History of BASF in Japan

Dye labels for the Asiamarkets at the time of founding

Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik Aktiengesellschaft (BASF AG) is founded in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

BASF is introduced to the Japanese market through H.Ahrens & Co.

Yamada Shoten and Shibata Shoten import the first BASF dye, Indigo Pure, into Japan.

First technology licensing in Japan. BASF provides methylalcohol technology to Mitsubishi Gas Chemical.

Yamada Shoten and Shibata Shoten establish Color Chemie Trading Co., Ltd. (precursor of current BASF Japan) in Tokyo.

Osaka sales office and laboratory established.

BASF transfers exclusive distributor rights from H. Ahrensto Color Chemie Trading.

BASF AG makes equity investment in Color Chemie Trading.

Osaka Takakura plant and warehouse completed; BASF starts production in Japan.

Yuka Badische Co., Ltd. (renamed Mitsubishi Chemical BASF Co., Ltd. in 1994) established as BASF’s first joint venture in Japan, for the production of expandable polystyrene (Styropor®).

Color Chemie Trading becomes BASF Dyes & Chemicals Co., Ltd.

Following BASF’s acquisition of German Elastogran Group, Polyurethane Chemical Co., Ltd. (renamed BASF INOAC Polyurethanes Ltd.) becomes a BASF subsidiary.

BASF Dyes & Chemicals Co., Ltd. renamed BASF Japan Ltd. 

Mitsui Badische Dyes Ltd. (renamed Mitsui BASF DyesLtd.) established as a joint venture to produce dyestuffs for synthetic fibers.

BASF purchases pharmaceutical manufacturer Knoll AG; Knoll Japan K.K. joins the BASF Group.

Following BASF’s acquisition of Inmont Corporation (U.S.A.), Nippon Rinshed-Mason (renamed Nippon R-MCo., Ltd.), a producer of automotive refinishing paints, becomes a BASF subsidiary.

BASF Japan acquires its own production site in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture.

Takeda Badische Urethane Industries, Ltd. (renamed BASF Polyurethane Elastomers Ltd.) established to expand polyurethane business.

Yokkaichi Works starts up. BASF starts production of auxiliaries for paper, textile and leather industries.

BASF Nichiyu Coating R&D Co., Ltd., a joint venture between BASF Coatings AG and NOF Corporation, established for automotive OEM paints.

Idemitsu BASF Co., Ltd. (renamed BASF Idemitsu Co.,Ltd.) established for 1.4-butanediol production.

Nisso BASF Agro Co., Ltd. established to produce and market herbicides.

BASF acquires Hokuriku Seiyaku Co., Ltd.

As part of restructuring, Polyurethane Chemical Co., Ltd. renamed BASF INOAC Polyurethanes Ltd.

Mitsubishi Chemical BASF Co., Ltd. divided into BASF Dispersions Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Chemical Foam Plastic Corp.

BASF acquires Takeda Kagaku Shiryo Co., Ltd.

BASF Coatings AG and NOF Corporation establish BASF NOF Coatings Co., Ltd., a joint venture for coatings.

BASF Nichiyu Coating R&D and Nippon R-M are integrated into the new company.

BASF’s dyestuff business for fibers consolidated in DyStar; BASF’s shares in Mitsui BASF Dyes Ltd. are transferred to DyStar Japan Ltd.

With BASF’s acquisition of crop protection business of American Home Products Corporation, BASF Japan Ltd. acquires all shares in Cyanamid (Japan) Limited (in 2001 renamed BASF Agro, Ltd.).

BASF Takeda Vitamins Ltd. established, in conjunction with BASF’s acquisition of global vitamin business from Takeda Chemical Industries Ltd.

With BASF’s acquisition of American Cyanamid Co. In 2000, Cyanamid (Japan) Ltd. and BASF Japan Ltd.’s agrochemical business merge to become BASF Agro, Ltd.

Knoll Japan K.K. and Hokuriku Seiyaku Co., Ltd. are transferred to Abbott Laboratories when BASF sells its pharmaceutical business to Abbott.

BASF Polyurethane Elastomers Ltd. integrates with BASF Japan Ltd.’s Polymers Division.

BASF Dispersions Co., Ltd. integrates with BASF JapanLtd.’s Specialties Division.

BASF acquires full ownership of BASF NOF Coatings Co.,Ltd., and establishes BASF Coatings Japan Ltd.

BASF acquires Engelhard, Degussa Construction Chemicals and Johnson Polymer. Following these acquisitions, N.E. Chemcat Corporation and Engelhard Metals Japan, Ltd. (renamed BASF Metals Japan Ltd.) become BASF subsidiaries.

With merger of three major construction chemicals companies BASF Pozzolith Ltd. is formed.

BASF acquires Ciba.

BASF Japan Ltd. merges with BASF Agro, Ltd.

BASF acquires Cognis.

BASF Japan Ltd. merges with Ciba Japan K.K.

BASF Japan Ltd. merges with Musashino-Geigy Co., Ltd.

BASF Japan Ltd. merges with Cognis Japan Ltd.

Opening of Yokohama Innovation Center.

BASF Japan Ltd. merges with BASF Pozzolith Ltd. and BASF Coatings Japan Ltd.

Opening of the Research and Development Laboratory and Application Technology Center for Battery Materials in Amagasaki.

Opening of designfabrik® Tokyo in Yokohama.

Opening of the Asia Composite Center in Yokohama.

BASF TODA Battery Materials LLC., a joint venture between BASF and TODA KOGYO CORP., established.

BASF established BASF Colors & Effects Japan Ltd.

BASF established AgSloution Farm Naruto in Chiba.

Pozzolith Solutions Ltd. was formed.


BASF established Construction Competency Center in Chigasaki.


BASF established Creation Center in Yokohama (Name change from designfabrik®)

BASF Global History

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1865–1901 The Birth of the Chemical Industry and the Era of Dyes

Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik is founded in 1865.


1902–1924 The Haber-Bosch Process and the Age of Fertilizers

The first plant for ammonia synthesis begins its operation in 1913.

stylen synthesis.jpg

1925–1944 New Forms of High-pressure Synthesis

The synthesis of styrene is conducted at the Ludwigshafen site in 1929.


1945 – 1964  From New Beginnings to the Plastic Age

BASF starts production of Styropor® in 1951.


1965–1989 The Road to Becoming a Transnational Company

On its 100th anniversary in 1965, BASF is already on its way to becoming a transnational company.

Im Jahr 2015 feiert BASF ihr 150-jähriges Jubiläum  / BASF cel

1990 Until Today Sustainable Start to the New Millennium

BASF celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2015.