Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A network of businesses that own stakes in one another as a means of mutual security, especially in Japan, and usually including large manufacturers and their suppliers of raw materials and components.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A set of Japanese companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings.

Etymologies

Japanese, series, affiliation : kei, system + retsu, row, line.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Japanese 系列 (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The keiretsu are the key to understanding the jimusho system, but unfortunately, this is also the most oblique characteristic of the field to measure and observe.

    Néojaponisme » Blog Archive » The Jimusho System: Part Two

  • As one Japanese diplomat put it rather candidly, "Japan is creating an exclusive Japanese market in which Asia Pacific nations are incorporated into the so-called keiretsu [financial-industrial bloc] system."

    Walden Bello: Asia: The Coming Fury

  • Japan's unique form of capitalism, based as it is on huge industrial groups called keiretsu, is beginning to fade.

    Japan's Young Slackers

  • The Japanese call it keiretsu; the Koreans say chaebol; the Russian word is semibankirshchina; and the Americans label the cozy arrangement among industrialists, bankers and government officials crony capitalism.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • A keiretsu is a Japanese industrial grouping that involves long-term relationships and interlocking ownership.

    Managing Strategic Relationships

  • The result is an extended organization — an integrated value chain — known as a keiretsu.

    Managing Strategic Relationships

  • In Japan, banks are usually the nexus of a cross-share holding entity known as the keiretsu.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • The world's biggest carmaker, which has two manufacturing sites in Canada, may return to its traditional Japanese suppliers, known as the keiretsu suppliers, while it seeks to regain control of the quality on which its reputation was built, they said.

    Edmonton Sun

  • Many of the largest companies are banded together into business groups called keiretsu, reinforced by cross-shareholdings, which can insulate underperforming firms from business and shareholder pressures.

    SeekingAlpha.com: Home Page

  • Also missed were the structural limitations of Japan's "keiretsu" or cartels, most of which are illegal but exist as an open dirty secret.

    Jeff Schweitzer: China's Downfall: the Ultimate Impact of Environmental Degradation

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Comments

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  • "All apartments in Paris that you would long to live in belong to the domaine privé. This is to say not that they all belong to the city government but that they can be obtained only through membership in one or another of the political or literary or fashionable keiretsus that dominate Paris."
    -- Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik, p 23

    September 23, 2008

  • "It was funded in part by Paul Allen, the co founder of Microsoft who appears to be creating a small keiretsu of semantic Web start-ups." - http://tinyurl.com/23rc6v

    October 23, 2007

  • Mentioned here.

    September 6, 2007