Microsoft Japan

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Microsoft Japan Co. Ltd
Native name
Founded1986; 33 years ago (1986) as Microsoft Kabushiki Kaisha
FounderBill Gates
Shinagawa, Tokyo
Key people
Susumu Furukawa, President (1986 - 1992)[1]
Takuya Hirano,[2] President & CEO (2015 -)
Number of employees
1,793 (2006)[3]
Microsoft Development Co. Ltd
Native name
マイクロソフト ディベロップメント
FoundedNovember 16, 2005
FounderBill Gates
Chōfu, Tokyo
Key people
Shunichi Kajisa,[4] President and Representative Director
Number of employees
371 (2006)[5]
Microsoft Japan's former head office in Odakyu Southern Tower.

Microsoft Japan, officially Microsoft Japan Company, Limited (日本マイクロソフト株式会社, Nihon Maikurosofuto Kabushiki Kaisha), is a subsidiary of Microsoft based in Japan. Their headquarters are at Shinagawa[6] district of Tokyo.


In 1978, Kazuhiko Nishi, a founder of ASCII Publisher, became friends with Bill Gates. In 1979, he founded ASCII Microsoft (株式会社アスキー・マイクロソフト) as the sole dealer of Microsoft's products in Japan. In 1980, ASCII made 1.2 billion yen of sales from licensing Microsoft BASIC. It was 40 percent of Microsoft's sales, and Nishi became Microsoft's Vice President of Sales for Far East.[7] In 1983, ASCII and Microsoft announced MSX.

However, Microsoft founded its own Japan subsidiary, Microsoft Kabushiki Kaisha (マイクロソフト株式会社, MSKK), and dissolved partnership with ASCII in 1986. It was because Gates wanted Microsoft to go public in the New York Stock Exchange, and also he opposed Nishi and ASCII's diversification. Susumu Furukawa (古川 享), who was also a member of ASCII, officially became the first president of Microsoft Kabushiki Kaisha. ASCII kept rights of MSX.[8]

In October 1986, MSKK announced the AX project that was a Japanese computing initiative to allow IBM PCs to handle Japanese text;[7] the AX couldn't break into the Japanese PC market due to its cost and less available software.

In October 1990, IBM Japan announced the DOS/V. Soon after the announcement, Furukawa got a contract with IBM Japan to receive source code of DOS/V.[9] MSKK supplied own DOS/V for PC manufacturer.

For the Japanese adaptation of Windows 3.1, MSKK and Ricoh developed two Japanese TrueType fonts, MS Gothic and MS Mincho.[10]


Microsoft Hagaki Studio[edit]

Microsoft Hagaki Studio (マイクロソフト はがきスタジオ, Microsoft Postcard Studio) is a discontinued postcard software for printing nengajo (New Year's day postcard); the software was released only in Japan from 1997 to 2006. It provided the upgrade path from other competitors such as Fudemame (筆まめ) and Fudeoh (筆王),[11] but Microsoft Hagaki Studio 2007 was the last version of the software.[12]


  • May 13, 2005 - Yoshihiro Maruyama presented the Xbox 360 to the public.


From 2004 to 2009 the company sponsored the Microsoft Cup, a knockout rugby football tournament contested by the best Japanese teams from the Top League.


  1. ^ "マイクロソフト・古川享最高技術責任者が会見". 22 April 2004. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Takuya Hirano - Microsoft Japan President and CEO". Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  3. ^ "日本マイクロソフト株式会社 会社概要". Retrieved 3 July 2006.
  4. ^ "Shunichi Kajisa: Microsoft Japan". Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  5. ^ "マイクロソフト ディベロップメント株式会社 会社概要". Retrieved 3 July 2006.
  6. ^ "マイクロソフト日本法人、来年2月に本社を品川に移転". Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  7. ^ a b コンピュータ・ニュース社, ed. (1988). "「パソコン産業史」年表". 100万人の謎を解く ザ・PCの系譜 (in Japanese). コンピュータ・ニュース社. pp. 40–57. ISBN 4-8061-0316-0.
  8. ^ "動きだした米国マイクロソフト社日本法人". ASCII. ASCII. 10 (6). 1986. ISSN 0287-9506.
  9. ^ Furukawa, Susumu (2015). 僕が伝えたかったこと、古川享のパソコン秘史. Japan: Impress R&D. ISBN 978-4-8443-9700-7.
  10. ^ "リコー、マイクロソフトと提携―パソコン向け漢字ソフトを供給。". Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun. 1993-05-17. p. 1.
  11. ^ "Microsoft はがきスタジオ 2003、製品ラインナップ". Microsoft Japan. Archived from the original on 2003-02-26. Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  12. ^ 大河原, 克行 (2007-11-05). "大河原克行の「パソコン業界、東奔西走」". Retrieved 2019-09-20.

External links[edit]