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The keiretsu of Japan arose out of the prewar zaibatsu but differed from the zaibatsu in essential ways. The zaibatsu were family-owned conglomerate businesses that were promoted by the Meiji government of Japan. When the government ran out of funds to carry out major projects for the development of Japan the government commissioned private businesses, often one which had business dealings with the court, to carry out those projects. The businesses received in return monopolies and special privileges from the government.
The zaibatsu were strong supporters of the militaristic government that gained control of Japan. The Allied Occupation broke up the zaibatsu to punish their leadership but also the Occupation wanted to promote democracy and saw the zaibatsu as anti-democratic concentrations of power. Initially firms such as Matsui were prohibited from operating. However the Cold War dictated the necessity of Japan having a strong, vigorish economy. The zaibatsu companies were allowed to re-form and utilize their old names. For middle management in those companies the process was beneficial; they moved up in the management heirarchy.
The general structure of the keiretsu is an association of companies formed around a bank.
They cooperate with each other and own shares of each others stock.
The Big Six Horizontal Keiretsu
The Leading Vertical Keiretsu
The Automobile Industry
Industry Mitsui Mitsubishi Sumitomo
Fuyo Sanwa DKB
Bank of Tokyo-
Mitsui Trust & Banking Mitsubishi Trust & Banking Sumitomo Trust & Banking Yasuda Trust & Banking Toyo Trust & Banking Life
Mitsui Mutual Life Meiji Mutual Life Sumitomo Mutual Life Yasuda Mutual Life Fukoku Mutual Life
Asahi Mutual Life
Marine & Fire
Mitsui Marine & Fire Tokio Marine & Fire Sumitomo Marine & Fire Yasuda Marine & Fire Nissan Marine & Fire
Taisei Marine & Fire
Mitsui Bussan Mitsubishi Shoji Sumitomo Corporation Marubeni Nissho Iwai Itochu Steel Japan Steel Works Mitsubishi Steel Manufacturing Sumitomo Metal Industries Nakayama Steel Works
Chemicals Mitsui Toatsu Chemical Mitsubishi Gas Chemicals Sumitomo Chemical Kureha Chemical Industries Sekisui Chemical Asahi Chemical Industries
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