VALUE CREATION AIR WATER’s Value Creation History

The Air Water Group is characterized by a diverse business network, a solid business base across Japan that was cultivated through the industrial gas business of our origin, and the diversity of our technologies and human resources resulting from growth and development driven by M&A.
In this chapter, you will see how our Group has acquired these strengths one by one.


The three former companies were born

A time when “oxygen users” started companies with a mission and developed their businesses.

They had no prominent founders, no inventions, and no profits to be made.
Air Water’s predecessors were established to meet the needs of the times and have a history of overcoming adversity as late starters and growing healthily with a variety of people and creativity.

Hokkai Sanso 1929

Established to save lives and serve the development of Hokkaido under the devastating conditions of the Spanish flu epidemic of the time, which did not provide an adequate supply of oxygen.
(Renamed Hoxan in 1966)

Daido Sanso 1933

Founded by a group of vibrant Osaka small and medium-sized entrepreneurs to produce and procure their own oxygen, which before the war had been preferentially sent to the munitions industry.

Kyodo Oxygen 1962

Founded as a subsidiary of Sumitomo Metal Industries to specialize in supplying oxygen to the company’s steel mills, during the period of rapid economic growth in Japan and rapidly increasing demand for steel.


Daido Sanso

Liquefied oxygen plant into operation

Sakai Plant

Introduced technology to “liquefy” oxygen at cryogenic temperatures to meet the demand for mass production and transportation. Despite the large investment, made a bold decision to shift the technology and established itself as an industrial gas manufacturer.


Started energy business

LP gas sales by Hoxan

Began selling LP gas for residential use, in the search for a new business in Hokkaido, where industrial demand was scarce. In 1963, released Japan’s first Unit Bath product by Hoxan and further developed its business close to consumers.



Started the industry’s first on-site gas supply

While the heavy chemical industry was making great strides, the company attracted industry attention by providing a sole on-site gas supply to a steel mill in Hokkaido. During this time, Kyodo Oxygen was established, followed by Daido Oxygen’s becoming the first on-site gas supplier to petrochemical plants.



Entered frozen food business

Started food business, using surplus liquid nitrogen generated during oxygen production to flash-freeze fresh agricultural and marine products from Hokkaido prefecture and sell them as frozen foods.


Daido Sanso

Developed nitrogen gas generator “V1”

As demand for high-purity nitrogen required for semiconductor manufacturing rapidly increases, established a Mini On-Site business to supply the gas by installing it inside the customer’s plant. The “V1,” developed in-house, has increased sales volume as the optimal gas supply system for semiconductor factories.

Daido Sanso

Invested in seawater business

Magnesia crystal

Made capital investment in Tateho Chemical Industries Co., Ltd. boasting the technology to extract and sinter magnesia from seawater and that to control crystals. This was the first M&A in Air Water’s history.


Hoxan and Daido Sanso merged
- Launched “Daido Hoxan,” pioneering a reorganization of the industry -

The merger of the two companies, whose primary business areas are Hokkaido and western Japan, expanded the business area to a nationwide scale. The acquisition of a combined business based on industrial gas from Hoxan was the starting point for the diversification.


Daido Hoxan and Kyodo Oxygen merged
- Created “AIR WATER” through two mergers -

The acquisition of the on-site gas supply business for steel mills, which is the upstream of industrial gas, has enabled vertical integration with the downstream, which was expertise of Daido Hoxan. This has enabled us to establish a business structure as an industrial gas manufacturer that can provide detailed services, from on-site supply as the basis to community-based cylinder supply.


The 1st Founding Stage of AIR WATER

From manufacturing to services — the era when we solidified its position as an industrial gas manufacturer and laid the groundwork for diverse business development.

In response to the needs of the era that has shifted from mass consumption of gas to diversified usage of gas, we have acquired industrial gas-related businesses such as carbon dioxide gas, hydrogen, and gas plant production technology through M&As. Along with building a foundation for diversification, we further strengthened our community-based sales structure and oriented our solution services to solve customer issues.

Acquired carbon dioxide/hydrogen gas business

Obtained carbon dioxide and hydrogen supply businesses, respectively, and built our own production and sales network. This was a move that enhanced our comprehensive proposal capabilities as an industrial gas manufacturer.

Kawasaki Plant

Hydrogen Trailer

Began production of ham and sausage

Entered the ham and delicatessen business upon taking over Hayakita plant (in Hokkaido) from Snow Brand Food. It was the trigger for a leap forward in the frozen food business during the Hoxan’s time.

Started chemical business

Launched coal chemicals business that operates inside a steel mill. This business was transferred to Nippon Steel Corporation in 2019, and we restructured our business around functional chemicals for semiconductors. That built the foundation of our current functional materials business.

Chemical products

Attained air separation plant manufacturing technology

Established a joint venture with Kobe Steel, Ltd., a manufacturer of deep-cooled air separation plants. A full range of plant design and construction from small to large was enabled. This joint venture would later lead to an engineering structure essential for developing industrial gas business overseas.

Shinko Air Water Cryoplant

Extended medical business

Entered the gas piping installation in hospitals by capital alliance with Kawasaki Safety Service Industries Co. The collaboration connected by gas was the beginning of the later expansion of the hospital business.

Installed VSU in areas with no gas supply

Developed our own plant “VSU,” which looked to install small, high-efficiency plants in the vicinity of demand areas to reduce distribution costs and supply liquefied gas at a low cost comparable to that of large plants. Starting with the installation of a VSU in Niigata in 2004, we have promoted cooperation with regional suppliers.

The first VSU, Niigata Ekisan

Expanded seawater business

Nihonkaisui, a salt manufacturer in Ako city, Hyogo Prefecture, joined our group. Established the seawater business together with Tateho Chemical Industries Co., Ltd. which manufactures magnesia products from bittern.

Saltworks of Nihonkaisui Co.


The 2nd Founding Stage of AIR WATER

Toward 1 trillion-yen revenue — the era we made successful mergers and acquisitions through diversification, leading to a diversified “All-Weather” portfolio.

Amid the stagnation of the domestic manufacturing industry due to the Lehman Shock, the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the strong yen, we steadily developed its industrial gas supply network while expanding our lifestyle-related business areas such as medical care, agriculture, and food through M&As. We have built a business portfolio that can achieve stable growth in any economic environment, and at the same time, laid the groundwork for future overseas expansion.

Expanded our gas supply network

Decentralizing our manufacturing sites through VSU deployment also contributed to BCP in the event of a disaster. As of 2023, we have established 22 bases throughout Japan and have built a solid structure for our domestic industrial gas supply business.

The 22nd VSU, Chiba Ekisan

Enhanced our lifestyle-related products and services

Through M&As, we have expanded hygiene materials, home health care, and dental fields in medical area, as well as beverage and sweets in agriculture & foods area.

Health & Safety

  • Advanced into operating room and ICU facility construction
  • Entered the dental materials business
  • Expanded home healthcare business
  • Grouped Kawamoto Corporation for sanitary materials
  • Capital participation in Ci Medical Co.,Ltd.
  • Expanded injection needle business

Agriculture & Foods

  • Opened a 7-hectare solar-powered glasshouse plant in Chitose, a fullfledged entry to the agriculture and foods business
  • Entered the processing/distribution business of Hokkaido agricultural products
  • Began contract manufacturing of fruitand vegetable-based beverages
  • Entered fruit and vegetable retail
  • Started sweets manufacturing business
Extended the electronics field

We have shifted our chemicals business to a business structure centered on functional chemicals. In parallel, we have expanded our product lineup for semiconductors, including gas purifiers, thermal control equipment, and precision polishing pads.

Gas purifiers

Built a foothold for overseas

In 2013, we acquired a local industrial gas company in India, and in 2014, we started a gas supply business in Vietnam. In 2019, we acquired onsite operations in eastern and southern India and began full-scale business development.
Furthermore, in 2015 and 2018, we grouped cryogenic equipment manufacturing companies in Malaysia and the United States, respectively. These marked the beginning of our overseas expansion based on engineering technology.

Jamshedpur, India

Carbon dioxide lorry


Toward achieving “terrAWell30”
The 3rd Founding Stage

Achieved 1 trillion-yen revenue

After the pandemic, the group revenue achieved a trillion yen in FY2022. We are integrating the directions of our diverse businesses into a new growth axis, “Global Environment” and “Wellness,” to solve social issues through our business activities and achieve sustainable growth.