Lotte Eyes Japan-ROK Collaboration within Group

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Lotte Holdings President Genichi Tamatsuka

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Lotte Holdings Co., which operates in Japan and South Korea, plans to strengthen collaboration between the group’s Japanese and South Korean units, which has been rare, President Genichi Tamatsuka has said in an interview.

“We’ll achieve global growth by multiplying business seeds in South Korea with Japanese technologies,” Tamatsuka said.

The group will seek such collaboration especially in the growing fields of biopharmaceuticals and materials for electric vehicle parts.

On the envisaged listing of major Japanese confectionery maker Lotte Co. on the stock market, Tamatsuka said the group will not proceed with the matter “for the time being.”

As the group is focusing on accelerating Japanese-South Korean collaboration, the stock listing is a low priority, he said.

The Lotte group was founded in Japan in 1948 and expanded to South Korea in 1967.

The group’s sales in Japan, mainly confectionery sales, stand at around ¥300 billion, while it has a wide range of operations in South Korea, including in the fields of tourism and petrochemicals, with sales of some ¥8 trillion.

The group’s Japanese and South Korean sides “have barely collaborated over the past 30 years” due mainly to conflicts within the founding family, according to Tamatsuka.

The group president stressed the need for stronger ties between the two sides. “We have a sense of crisis as both countries face shrinking populations,” he said.

In particular, Tamatsuka sought cooperation in the contract manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals and operations related to advanced materials, such as aluminum used in batteries for EVs.

Tamatsuka also mentioned plans to sell in Japan frozen products of popular foods in South Korea and to utilize in Japan the South Korean side’s expertise in hotel and tax-free shop operations.