The first PILOT pens were launched in Japan in 1918. At this time, the country was opening up to Western influences and was importing European techniques. Trade agreements and contracts were being signed and the Japanese whose writing was poorly suited to the demands of the commercial trade quickly had to simplify the lines of their characters and adopt international calligraphy standards. Many pen manufacturers were set up in Japan during this time. In 1938 the company became the PILOT PEN Co Ltd, then in 1989 the PILOT CORPORATION, a modern name covering the decades of creativity, innovation and design which have enabled the PILOT brand to position itself as the world leader in writing instrument technology.