The Origin & History of Shinko Boeki Co., Ltd.

Happy new year 2023!   Thank you in advance for your great patronage this year as same as last year.


Today, January 17th, it is 57 anniversary for us, Shinko Boeki thanks to all of our valued business

partners and customers.  We hereby appreciate much your kindest and warmest assistance and

encouragement extended to us.


We will try our best to improve our service considering our spirit more at the beginning stage we

opened the company in 1966.  Thank you in advance for your continued great support and great patronage.


PS: On this opportunity, I want to introduce our origin and history to everyone and have written a brief story report as below. 

I would appreciate it if you would read it with interest.  Thank you.


Best regards


Hiromu Nozawa, President

Shinko Boeki Co., Ltd. 

The Origin & History of Shinko Boeki Co., Ltd.


The company was opened by Mr. Akira Nozawa, Founder in 1966.  It started as a trading company handling synthetic rubbers as the representative of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in USA.  Why did the company handle chemical products like synthetic rubber and plastic?  What is the reason why the company does the business for Truck and Trailer industry at the moment?   In order to know the reasons, I want to go way back in the past. 


My father, Akira, was born in 1931 in a small town called Kashiwazaki in Niigata Prefecture (新潟県柏崎市) facing Japan Sea. When he was small, there was one man (relative’s uncle) living close to his house.  This guy had a big ship boat and often went abroad like Indonesia in order to sell Japanese natural products there and purchased several local items from the Southern Sea countries and sold them in Japan.  It was so-called “Trading” and his company name was “Echigo-ya”(越後屋).  Akira longed for his uncle and always thought, “I will go abroad some day in the future and do the business like my uncle!”  Then, he started to study English by himself through NHK English program on radio. 


When he went to an old-education-system junior high school, the situation in Japan under the Pacific War (World War II) got worse and worse and the students were forced to work at factories to make weapons like gun barrel using machines like lathe and drill press.  Later, after the war, whenever his friends gathered at a class union, they said, “That era was really bad and black for us!”  However, Akira didn’t think so, but he said, “everything is a good experience in my life.”  Because, all experiences he had during that period helped much his business in the Truck and Trailer industry later.


The education system changed in Japan after the war.  After Akira graduated Niigata Prefectural Kashiwazaki High School(新潟県立柏崎高校)as the first generation class, he came to Tokyo and entered National Tokyo Foreign Language University(国立東京外語大学).  He purposely majored in Malay tongue (Indonesian).  This might be due to an influence by his uncle who ran “越後屋” for whom he longed when he was small.


After graduated the university, Akira worked for a trading company called “軽工物産株式会社“ handling natural rubbers.  Speaking of natural rubber, Indonesia in South-East Asia is one of the typical natural rubber producing area.  He was recruited by this company because of his special talent in English and Indonesian. When he had his business trip to Indonesia for purchasing natural rubbers, he purposely tried to visit a certain place in Sumatra where “越後屋” office had existed in the past.  He confirmed by himself that a Japanese company called “越後屋” surely existed there in the past.


As explained the above, “軽工物産” was a trading firm handling natural rubber. Nevertheless, Akira thought that synthetic rubber would be more popular than natural rubber in the near future.  Then, Akira made a direct request for the president and got his approval to handle synthetic rubber.  Then, Akira flew to USA to make a representative agreement with Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and started to import Synthetic rubber.  It was between 1955 and 1960.


What Akira who had many opportunities to visit USA on Firestone business saw there in North America was “Convoy” (transport column formed by the combination vehicles (Track & Trailer) on the highway roads.  At that time, paved roads were almost nil in Japan. However, he thought/believed that the transportation by the combination vehicles would absolutely be popular in Japan after 30 years.  Whenever he visited USA, Fireston people kindly introduced many people from several industries to him.  Among those meetings, he had some good meetings which would be related to the Truck & Trailer business later.     


The import business of synthetic rubber had been progressed well, however, a big incident happened.  It was a sudden bankrupt of “軽工物産”due to a failed documentation by a top management.  Akira phoned Firestone and informed the fact of the company bankrupt accordingly.  Then, the reply from Firestone was so kind for him.  They say, “We have been doing business with you, Mr. Nozawa, but not with the company.  So, if you make a new company, Firestone will give your company the representative right!” 


Then, our former president, Mr. Akira Nozawa, decided to establish a new company named “新軽工物産”.  The company changed its name to “Shinko Boeki” (伸工貿易) in 1966.  Immediately after the establishment, of course, we started the business as the exclusive agent of Firestone and imported several kinds of special latex to sell to domestic chemical companies/factories. Through this main business, we had some good chances to penetrate into Truck and Trailer industry.  


One of the chances was a transaction with Nissan Diesel (current UD Trucks).  What was the trigger to start the business relation between them and us?  That was:


Do you know “Drinking Alley” (飲んべい横丁)in Shinjuku?  It was a special place where there were lot of small bar(居酒屋) which were fully occupied by 4 - 5 persons.  “Okesa”(おけさ) was Mr. Nozawa’s favorite bar at where he often met one of the regular customers.  One day, he exchanged business cards with this guy and talked about their own job. (we call this guy T-san temporarily.)  T-san was a purchasing manager of Nissan Diesel (truck maker).  Several days later, Mr. Nozawa unexpectedly received a call at the office from T-san.  He says, “ Nozawa-san, I have something to discuss with you.  Could you come to my office?” 


At that time, Nissan Diesel kept their completed vehicles outdoors until those would be sold/delivered to their dealers/end-customers. During this storage period, the tires were exposed to the direct sunlight, consequently a deterioration on the tire surface like cracks and discoloration happened. 


T-san says, “Do you have any good chemicals to protect the tier surface from the sunlight?

You may have such a good item because you are the representative of Firestone!”


Mr. Nozawa replies, “Leave it to me!!”  Immediately after he returned the office, he contacted Firestone by telex (at that time no Fax & internet were available) and arranged to get a sample from them.


After obtained the sample, Mr. Nozawa visited Nissan Diesel, he put the sample liquid on the tire surface of several trucks using brushes.  (If it was the present age, we had to submit them many documents/ specification sheets like MSDS and made several laboratory tests before the application of the unknown samples to their products.  What a good age it was! That’s “Showa”(昭和)!


About a few months later, T-san phoned Mr. Nozawa.  “Nozawa-san!  That is great!  We, Nissan Diesel, will purchase it from you!”


In this way, we, Shinko Boeki(伸工貿易), started the business with Truck industry through the sales of Firestone made chemical named “FSR-23”.  Incidentally, “FSR-23” means:-  FireStone Rubber (2) (3).  You may know Mr. Nozawa’s sense of humor from this naming.


At that time, a big change took place in the transportation method for the international sea-shipment.  It was the introduction of marine container. The manufacturing of containers was made by Sealand Corporation (ship company) and Fruehauf (trailer maker) in combination.


In Japan, the production of marine container started by some trailer manufacturers.  However, they had less knowledge to make a good quality container which protects any entry of rain water/sea water inside. For this purpose, a special sealing agent was required at the connecting area inside the container.  So, they contacted Shinko Boeki because of Firestone’s agent.  Then, we imported the same sealing agent as the one Sealand and Fruehauf in US used and sold it to them, resulting our new business connection with trailer manufacturers.


In the meantime, we obtained representative rights of several manufacturers of 7 pole socket & plug needed for the electrical connection and Grad-hands needed for the air connection between tractor and trailer (combination vehicles), such as Berg, Sloan, etc.


There is one more very important connection for the combination vehicle.  It is the mechanical connection.  So, We, Shinko Boeki, purposely made a 50/50% Joint Venture named Nippon Holland Co., Ltd. in 1971 with Holland Pacific Hitch who was the subsidiary of Holland Hitch Co., Ltd. who is the manufacturer of the Fifth Wheel which is needed to connect the tractor and the trailer.


We, Shinko Boeki/Nippon Holland, were just a small trading company with limited staffs and could not make the 5th Wheel by ourselves. Then, we singed the Technical Transfer Agreement with Kakuwa Seiki Co., Ltd. (Sohoshin Co., Ltd. at this moment) for the local manufacturing of the 5th wheel designed by Holland.  From this, Kakuwa started to make a so-called “Hybrid” 5th Wheel which consisted of the top plate designed by Kakuwa and the Jaw structure designed by Holland.  At the same time, we started to export the main component parts of the 5th Wheel such as Jaws, Kingpins & brackets to Holland factories in U.S.A.  At that time, the exchange rate between US$ and Japanese Yen was around \280 -260.  So, Holland could get the high quality parts made with Japanese excellent forging and mechanical processing at lower prices.  On the other hand, Kakuwa also could obtain the necessary parts for making their “Hybrid” 5th wheel at very good price due to a high volume production.  We, Shinko/Nippon Holland, could get money to export those component parts to USA as well.  Now, those 3 companies were very happy to establish the good business system from which all of them got the profit respectively.  This parts export business continued until late of 1980’s when JYen appreciated by around \180.  


In 1988, due to the big organization change by Holland Group, Nippon Holland changed the Joint Venture Agreement to HOLLAND International, Inc. from Holland Pacific Hitch.  In 2006, SAF-Holland Group was born due to the successful merger between SAF in Germany and Holland, in USA.  Nippon Holland also changed its name to SAF-HOLLAND NIPPON, LTD. to the present.


We, Shinko Boeki, started its activity as a trading company handling chemical products as the agency of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, and through the aforementioned changes and experiences, our business share of Truck & Trailer industry has enlarged to 70% of the whole company activity.   Of course, the Chemical business as our origin also has expanded, too.  Especially, our handling volume of SBS & SEBS (Synthetic rubber),

Slate Flakes & Granules (materials for Roofing sheets) is much increasing these years.  Besides these businesses, we are also expanding our business field to the niche market like baking trays for the Bakery industry and some natural raw materials for button making. 


In 2006, I, Hiromu Nozawa, assumed the post of president after Akira Nozawa retired from the company.  In order to make further business expansion and better attentive service against our customers, we opened our own distribution center with 430m2 in Asaka, Saitama Prifecture (埼玉県朝霞市) in 2014.  According to our business expansion, we moved it to our current distribution center with 2,000m2 in Ageo, Saitama(埼玉県上尾市).  In the same year, we also moved our head office to the current address (渋谷区渋谷) from the former place (渋谷区宇田川町) where we had been nearly 50 years.   The new office is close to JR Shibuya Station and it takes only 5 minutes on foot.  We welcome you all at any time.


Thank you very much for reading the above!  I do hope you have an interest in Shinko Boeki!


Hiromu Nozawa, President

Shinko Boeki Co., Ltd.