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Type: Publicly held
Industry: Electronics
Headquarters: 30-2, Shimomaruko 3-chome, Ohta-ku,

Tokyo 146-8501

Country: Japan
Products: Digital SLR and Digital Compact Cameras
Digital Camcorders, Compact Photo Printers
Multifunction Inkjet Printers,
Inkjet Printers, Multi-media Projectors
Image Scanners, Network Cameras
Commercial Photo Printers, Lenses for SLR Cameras
Broadcast Equipment etc.
Employees: 25,449 (2011)
Revenue: 248,630 million yen (2011), Consolidated
Key People
Fujio Mitarai, Chairman & CEO

Canon, Inc. is a Japanese multinational electronics company with specialties in manufacturing digital imaging and optical equipment. Some of its products include compact and digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, digital camcorders, lenses for SLR cameras, office network multi-function devices, LCD lithography systems, ophthalmic equipment, digital radiography systems and many others. The company holds 174,762 million yen in common stock and 248,630 million yen in consolidated revenue as of December 31, 2011. Its headquarters is located in Tokyo. [1]

Bid for .Canon Brand gTLD

On March 16, 2010, the company announced its application for the .canon Brand TLD with ICANN's New gTLD expansion program. It was one of the very first brands to make such an announcement. The company said that it will use the .canon TLD to provide continuous online information and services to its users, consumers, and other stakeholders worldwide. In addition, the company believed that .canon TLD will make its online communication more convenient and effective. [2]


Canon's origins started in 1933 when a group of ambitious individuals established the company's predecessor, the Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory, in Roppongi, Tokyo . Their objective was to develop a Japanese made high-quality camera. During that year, the laboratory succeeded in developing a prototype, which was called Kwanon, the name of the Buddhist goddess of mercy. In 1935, the first Japanese-made 35mm focal-plane-shutter camera was developed. In 1937, Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory, Ltd. was incorporated. The company's name was changed to Canon Camera Co. Inc. in 1947. Takeshi Mitarai, Canon's first president, decided to enter the global market after attending an international trade fair in the United States. He built a new Canon factory in Shimomaruko, Tokyo and it was succeeded by the opening of its office in New York City. In 1967, the company established Canon Europa in Geneva, Switzerland which serves as its sole distributor in Europe. In 1969, the company was renamed Canon, Inc. During that time company already added a diversity of products such as the first 10-key electronic calculator, and a copying machine. by 1970, the company had 5,000 employees and 44.8 billion yen in sales. However, 1974 the company suffered financially when the dollar collapsed, the price of oil surged and problems caused by its defective calculator display componen. In 1976, the company developed its Premier Company Plan to position Canon as an excellent global company and introduced innovative products such as PC-10/20, the world's first personal copying machine with an all-in-one cartridge system; BJ-80, the world's first inkjet printer using Bubble Jet technology, CLC-1 digital full-color copying machine and the EOS650 AF SLR camera. In 2000, the company was listed in the (ADR) New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol "CAJ." In 1995, Fujio Mitarai assumed as president of the company. He launched the Excellent Global Corporation Plan and continued to lead the company in total optimization, innovation and profits.[3]

Corporate Philosophy

The company's corporate philosophy is a broader definition of the word "kyosei," which means "All people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future." [4]

Business Units

Canon's products and solutions are categorized under three business units:[5]

  • Consumer Business Unit- Products include Digital SLR Cameras, Compact Digital Cameras, Interchangeable Lenses, Digital Video Camcorders, Inkjet Multifunction Printers, Single Function Inkjet Printers, Image Scanners, Broadcast Equipment and Calculators.
  • Office Business Unit- Products include Office Network Digital Multifunction Devices (MFDs), Color Network Digital MFDs, Personal-use Network Digital MFDs, Office Copying Machines, Full-color Copying Machines, Personal-use Copying Machines, Laser Printers, Large-Format Inkjet Printers and Digital Production Printers.
  • Industry and Others Business Unit- Products include Semiconductor Lithography Equipment, LCD Lithography Equipment, Medical Image Recording Equipment, Ophthalmic Products, Magnetic Heads, Micromotors, Computers, Handy Terminals and Document Scanners.