History 1970-

1970's

1970

May

Overseas sales company, Casio Inc., established in New York

Sep.

Casio stock listed on the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange

September 1970: Casio stock listed on the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange

As Casio’s earnings continued to double each year, the capacity of the existing plants was not enough to meet demand. Therefore, the company decided to list its shares on the public stock exchange in order to procure the capital needed to build new plants, and to meet rapidly expanding operating capital needs. In 1970, Casio was listed on the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The initial stock price on the first day rocketed up 150 yen from the offering price to 630 yen, then to a high of 640 yen, before closing at 630 yen. The volume traded was 810,000 shares. The stock moved to the first section of the stock exchange in 1972. In 1973, Casio was listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, and on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 1979.

Then-Chairman Shigeru Kashio (left) and then-President Tadao Kashio at the Tokyo Stock Exchange on the day of the public listing

1971

Apr.

World's first inkjet printer unveiled

1972

Aug.

Release of the Casio Mini, the world's first personal calculator

August 1972: Release of the Casio Mini, the world’s first personal calculator

With the spreading popularity of the electronic desktop calculator (denshisiki takujyo keisanki in Japanese), the name was shortened for convenience to dentaku. Through the appearance of integrated circuits (IC) containing complete electronic circuits on one chip, and then large-scale integration (LSI) that further increased the level of integration, calculator manufacturing became much simpler. In 1965, many new manufacturers began to enter the calculator market due to the strong company demand for the product. As a result, Japanese calculator production continued to double each year, and in 1970 the market exceeded 100 billion yen in total value. At its peak, there were over 50 companies in the market, and this meant a period of severe competition in development and sales, called the “calculator wars.”

It was during this time that Casio released a new product based on a completely new concept. Released in August 1972, it was called the Casio Mini. The product concept was articulated like this: “Although the market for calculators is limited as long as calculators only exist to improve office efficiency, an even larger market can be realized if every household or individual could use a calculator. After all, people also need to do calculations at home. We will develop a calculator that is affordable for individual consumers, priced at about 10,000 yen, and thereby create a personal calculator market.”

casio mini

The production volume was set at 100,000 units per month, which was an incredibly high amount at that time. Many people inside and outside the company voiced their misgivings about this high production level, but the release of the Casio Mini resulted in an explosive hit, and production had to be raised to 200,000 units per month. Only ten months after its release, deliveries of one million units were achieved. Subsequent improvements were made to the Casio Mini, and it went on to become a huge hit, with a final production total of ten million units. Due to the success of the Casio Mini, Casio secured the number-one position among calculator manufacturers.

Nevertheless, the calculator wars continued. It seemed as if new products were being released every day, and prices continued to fall while producers battled for survival. Except for a very small portion of manufacturers, companies with poor development, technical, or sales abilities were forced to downsize or leave the market. Finally, only a few companies remained, and this brought an end to the most intense competition.

Casio Mini production line

Main Models up to the Casio Mini

Release Model Price (¥) Component
1957 14-A 485,000 Relay
1965 001 380,000 Transistor
1968 152 250,000 IC
1969 AS-A 110,000 LSI
1971 AS-8 38,700 LSI
1972 Casio Mini 12,800 LSI

To meet the intense individual demand that was ignited by the huge success of the Casio Mini, the Hachioji Factory (now Hachioji Laboratory) went into operation alongside the Kofu Factory in June 1973. Production was also expanded to affiliated plants in Japan and overseas, and a large-scale production system was created.

The popularization of the pocket calculator, including the Casio Mini series, has a special place in the history of electronics production in Japan. The Japanese semiconductor industry, which was still in its infancy at the time, realized many advances by applying its technical capabilities to the large-scale production of pocket calculators. In this sense, pocket calculators can be seen as the pioneer that helped pave the way for the development of Japan as an electronics superpower.

Casio stock authorized for transfer to the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange

Sep.

Casio stock listed on the first section of the Osaka Stock Exchange

Oct.

Overseas sales company, Casio Computer Co., G.m.b.H. Deutschland, established in Hamburg, Germany

1973

Jun.

Hachioji Factory begins operations

Sep.

Casio stock listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange

1974

May

Head office moved to Shinjuku, Tokyo

Release of personal scientific calculator (fx-10)

Oct.

Release of the CASIOTRON electronic wristwatch

November 1974: Release of the CASIOTRON electronic wristwatch

After the success of the Casio Mini, Casio was secure in its position at the top of the electronic calculator industry. In order to strengthen its earnings base, the company decided to diversify its business by producing timepieces. At first glace, electronic calculators and timepieces seem to be completely different product categories, but at that time, timepieces were undergoing a technological revolution from mechanical to quartz mechanisms. A type of quartz timepiece, digital chronometers consist of a counter that measures pulses from a crystal oscillator, in other words, a simple adding machine that shows a running calculation of each second. This was a product that would allow Casio to maximize the LSI technology it had developed for electronic calculators. Considering this, it was only natural for Casio to branch out into the business of timepieces.

CASIOTRON

However, the Japanese clock and watch industry in the mid-70s was closely integrated from the production to sales levels, making it very difficult for new manufacturers to enter the market. Casio made intensive efforts to overcome this barrier, and in October 1974 it released a computerized watch, the CASIOTRON. This watch not only showed the hours, minutes, and seconds, but also had a unique function that could automatically determine the number of days in a month.

Main functions Change display
(Hours, minutes, 10 seconds, seconds, AM/PM __
month, date, day of the week)
Automatic calendar
Display FE liquid crystal digital display
Main components Crystal oscillator, C MOS-LSI
Price ¥58,000 - ¥65,000

1975

Sep.

Overseas sales company, Casio Electronics Co., Ltd., opens in London

1976

Mar.

Establishment of Casio Lease Co., Ltd., in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Jul.

Release of Electronic Cash Register (ECR)(Σ-50ER)

Dec.

Release of first combination clock-calculator, Den-Kuro (CQ-1)

1978

Jan.

Release of first card-size calculator, the Casio Mini Card (LC-78, thickness: 3.9mm)

Feb.

Casio Taiwan Ltd. established in Taiwan as an overseas production company

Sep.

Release of first watch equipped with a Casio-produced LCD (31-CS10B)

1979

Jan.

Casio stock listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange

Jul.

Hamura Research & Development Center constructed in Hamura-machi (now Hamura City), Nishitama-gun, Tokyo

July 1979: Hamura Research & Development Center constructed in Hamura-machi (now Hamura City), Nishitama-gun, Tokyo

Along with the growth of the company, the Tokyo Product Control and Technical Center in Higashi Yamato City became too small, and in December 1978, construction of a new research center was begun in Hamura-machi (now Hamura City), Nishitama-gun, Tokyo. The Hamura Research & Development Center was completed in July of the following year, and currently employs 1,500 people as Casio’s central research and development institute.

Hamura Research& Development Center

Release of Japanese-language office computer (Σ-8700 series)

Oct.

Yamagata Casio Co., Ltd. production company established in Higashine City, Yamagata

October 1979: Yamagata Casio Co., Ltd. production company established in Higashine City, Yamagata

Handling the expansion of Casio’s business from electronic calculators to timepieces and electronic musical instruments were Casio’s Tokyo, Kofu, and Hachioji production plants. However, since these three factories were no longer enough to accommodate the growing demand in each of these product areas, a wholly-owned subsidiary, Yamagata Casio Co., Ltd., was established in the Omori Industrial Park in Higashine, and a new 9,400 square-meter factory was built there to serve as a production company. At first, the facility produced calculators and timepieces, but this eventually grew to include electronic musical instruments, cellular phones, and digital cameras. It has now expanded to become Casio’s main production center in Japan.

Yamagata Casio