& Tornado Alley
the Other Kansai Keiretsu
The Sanwa Group is the "other Kansai" keiretsu, the Sumitomo Group being the most prominent Kansai keiretsu. The Sanwa Bank was formed from a merger in 1933 of three banks which had been founded during the Meiji Era. The name Sanwa means three harmonies. At the time when Sanwa was founded Osaka was still the dominant commercial city of Japan.
Sanwa Bank, by providing a source of capital to businesses which were not part of the other keiretsu, drew together a collection of important firms, such as Teikoku Jinzo Kenshi (Teijin) (Japan's leading producer of polyester synthetic fibers), Kobe Steel, Hitachi Zosen (shipbuilding) and Sekisue Chemicals. In addition to Sanwa Bank, the Sanwa Group has Nippon Insurance and Nomura Securities as part of its financial core. There are two major trading companies associated with the Sanwa Group, Nissho Iwai and Nichimen.
Over time, the Sanwa Group is reducing its identification with Osaka. Officially now its headquarters are in Tokyo, although it continues to maintain its old offices in Osaka. It is trying to become more national without losing the allegiance of its Osaka region customers.
The Other Keiretsu
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