Company Information- Message from MCX -

Message from MCX

We have taken another step forward in this year in which we have entered into 20th year of 21st Century. Our company name in Japanese will be changed from三菱商事石油開発: “Mitsubishi Corporation Petroleum Development” to三菱商事天然ガス開発: “Mitsubishi Corporation Natural Gas Development”, though we will be retaining the current English name “Mitsubishi Corporation Exploration”.

“Centenarian company” is often used as an expression to measure respectable enterprises in Japan. Statistics indicate there are more than 20,000 “centenarian” companies in the country, in which business environment might be favorable to such traditional establishment. However, a large number of such companies seem to have lasted due to their continuous efforts to fulfill their ever changing customers’ expectations. We could easily find out an example on website, eg. a long-established ryokan (Japanese style Inn) in Miyagi, called “Sakan”, with more than one thousand year’s history, and can discern their business philosophy from the following quote: “What are the expectations of a ryokan in the current times? We constantly ask ourselves in what ways we can adapt in order to satisfy the changes in our customer’s needs”. I believe we have a lot to learn from their way of thinking based on their immutable principle, and their mindfulness on tradition. I think we should strive to follow their business case.

In 2021, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary since the company has been established as a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, and 2022 marks the 50th anniversary since the original foundation of our company as a joint oil exploration & production venture among Mitsubishi Group companies. Since then, we have experienced many changes over the last 50 years, and now our activities are mainly focused on providing technical assistance to the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) business operated by Mitsubishi Corporation, Natural Gas Group.

When I asked myself what the immutable principle has been for us, I came to the conclusion that it can be found in the spirit of “Shoki Hoko: Corporate Responsibility to Society”, the first precept of the “Three Principles” (called “Sankoryo” in Japanese) of Mitsubishi Corporation. As a commercial company it is natural to pursue profits, but it does not mean that we could conduct anything in order to do so, as advocated by Koyata Iwasaki, the fourth president of Mitsubishi Corporation. “Shoki Hoko” means to “Strive to enrich society, both materially and spiritually, while contributing towards the preservation of the global environment”. What we are aiming for is to promote businesses that embody this spirit, together with the Natural Gas Group of Mitsubishi Corporation.

The so-called “Fossil Fuels” - Coal, Oil and Natural Gas - have brought many benefits to people all over the world as energy sources that support economic development and enhance our living standard. While it is undeniable that carbon dioxide emitted by burning fossil fuels is affecting global climate change, we must face the fact that further technological innovation and further time are necessary for us to be able to utilize non-hydrocarbon energy globally. Until such a time comes, we cannot ignore the crucial role of Natural Gas, a cleaner source of energy. With our renewed focus on developing natural gas resources and delivering them to those in need, we decided to change the company's Japanese name from 石油 (Petroleum) to 天然ガス (Natural Gas) with the goal of contributing to this “energy transition” period.

The global paradigm shifts rapidly. Scientifically sounded theories are also revised with new findings. When we think of climate change, the previously established theory was that “the world is slowly cooling down and heading for a glacial period of the ongoing Quaternary Glaciation (Ice Age)”, but now some scientists claim “the glacial period will not come for the next 50,000 years”. Another example of such is the “oil depletion theory”. During the oil crisis in the 1970s, it was said that oil would run out in 30 years, and in the 2000s, the “peak oil theory” once again dominated the world. However, the human race has always been able to find innovative solutions during difficult times, and the potential of oil production has been steadily maintained. With regard to environmental issues, humans have just started to practically consider their impact on a global scale. I believe that for now Natural Gas provides a tentative solution to this complex issue until the next innovation is embodied.