The Cornes business was founded in Yokohama more than one-and-a-half centuries ago on 1st April 1861 in the closing years of Japan's Edo period by Frederick Cornes and his partner, William Aspinall. Initially trading in silk and tea, the business quickly expanded to include the import of cotton, metals, consumer goods, coal and other raw materials. The company was also a pioneer in the Japanese insurance market starting with its appointment in 1868 as the first Lloyd's agent in Japan - a position that is still held today. With the development of its maritime and insurance operations, Cornes paved the way for new services-based industries in an age when business was still dominated by trade in material goods.

Today, the Cornes business encompasses a wide range of products and services including European luxury automobiles, marine charts and related publications, kitchenware, electronics and other high-tech products and equipment, and dairy and agricultural machinery. Always on the look-out for new opportunities, Cornes has in recent years become Japan's leading biogas plant construction company. Whatever the field of endeavour, Cornes strives unceasingly to deliver the highest level of quality and service to its customers and takes pride in being a bridge for ideas and innovation from the rest of the world to Japan.