Rio Tinto and Japan

Rio Tinto and Japan

Japan is an important strategic market for Rio Tinto as a customer, supplier, and equity and innovation partner.

As one of Japan’s largest suppliers of raw materials, Rio Tinto’s business today spans the breadth of our product groups: iron ore, aluminium, coking coal, copper, molybdenum, industrial minerals, uranium and diamonds. We supply to over 250 Japanese customers, including steel mills, power utilities, trading companies, manufacturers, and chemical companies. Japanese suppliers make a vital contribution right across Rio Tinto’s global value chain through their machinery, equipment, products and services, as they have done since the earliest days of our operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Rio Tinto also has a number of Japanese companies as its joint venture partners in mining and smelting operations and exploration projects around the world.

Long history

Rio Tinto-related entities have been doing business with Japan since at least 1961, with Comalco’s first trial shipment of bauxite from Australia to Japan. The Japanese steel mills underwrote the development of Rio Tinto’s iron ore operations in the Pilbara in the 1960s through long-term offtake contracts, which were the largest sales contracts ever written in Australia at the time.

2016 marked the 50 year anniversary of the first shipment of iron ore from Rio Tinto’s first mine in the Pilbara, Mount Tom Price, to Japan, in August 1966. In 2017, the five billionth tonne of iron ore was shipped from the Pilbara region.

Rio Tinto has longstanding, strong and multi-faceted relationships with our Japanese business partners. These are critical to Rio Tinto’s business, and we are proud to have supported Japanese industry for more than 50 years.


(Left) The first contract ore departed from Dampier for Japan in August 1966 (Right) Cape Lambert Port - Dampier nowadays

Contribution to the community

At Rio Tinto, we strive to build strong and lasting relationships with the communities where we operate. In Japan as well, we believe it is important to contribute to the local community.

Rio Tinto is committed to supporting the Tohoku region of Japan, which was devastated by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. In May 2011, we established a 400 million yen, ten-year scholarship with Komatsu Ltd. for students at Tohoku University who otherwise would not have been able to continue their studies. We also support the organisation “ARTS for HOPE”, which helps children and others in Tohoku overcome the trauma of the disaster through arts activities, via donations and volunteering by Rio Tinto Japan employees.

In the summer of 2015, Rio Tinto collaborated with several Japanese partners to host an exhibit at the 23rd World Scout Jamboree held in Yamaguchi Prefecture. “From the Earth to My Life” was designed to help educate these future leaders about the importance of natural resources in our daily lives. The exhibit showcased important minerals (iron ore, bauxite and copper) that are transformed into steel, aluminium and copper metal and then processed further to manufacture a car.

In Japan, Rio Tinto focuses in particular on activities that support the younger generation, who are the future leaders of the country.

Rio Tinto Japan Limited: corporate information

 Company name Rio Tinto Japan Limited 
 Location

8F, Kojimachi Diamond Building, 1 Kojimachi 4-chome
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083 Japan

 Founded April 1966
 Executive officers

Chairman: Stephen McIntosh (Group executive, Growth & Innovation)
President and Representative director: Noboru Yamaji
Vice president and Director: Teruhisa Sudo
Director: Simone Niven (Group executive, Corporate Relations)           

 Statutory Auditor David Luxford (Controller, Group Functions Finance)
 Main banks

The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

 Capitalisation 466 million yen
 Stockholder Rio Tinto International Holdings Limited
(a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto plc)
Number of employees 26 (As of 31 March 2017)