According to Prof. Funabashi's book titled “Timeless Ventures: 32 Companies that Imbibed 8 Principles of Longevity”, an estimated 20,000 of the 1.24 million companies in Japan have been
operating for more than a hundred years. About 200 companies have a history of more than 200 years and about 600 companies, more than 300 years. About 30 companies have survived for more than 500 years and five, for more than a thousand years! Prof. Funabashi researched 32 long-lived companies in Japan and their histories from the aspects of 8 principles;
1. Leadership driven by clear values, vision and mission;
2. Long term viewpoint and strategic approach;
3. The importance of people and human merit system;
4. Customer oriented and building the economy;
5. Socially minded and building the nation;
6. Continuous innovation (change) and improvement;
7. Frugality and efficient use of natural resources;
8. Efforts to embody and generate culture/legacy.
The characteristics of long-lived companies are common in the fact that they have been strongly
keeping their founder’s idea and philosophy of CSR.
Prof. Haruo Funabashi is Visiting Professor at Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of
International Corporate Strategy, Tokyo with over three decades of experience in government service.
A graduate from the Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo, he joined the Ministry of Finance in 1969 and served in several senior positions in Japan and abroad till 2002.