Definition of keiretsu in US English:



  • (in Japan) a conglomeration of businesses linked together by cross-shareholdings to form a robust corporate structure.

    • ‘Complicated cross-shareholdings in the keiretsu style are typical in Asia, where controlling families and their cronies siphon much wealth away from shareholders.’
    • ‘Once bitter rivals, they were effectively forced together as the unwinding of Japan's keiretsu led to increased rivalry at home.’
    • ‘He said Singapore banks should avoid the problem now posed by Japan's keiretsu system, which links a group of companies with a main bank.’
    • ‘This intensive resource use has only been made possible by massive government investment, government-supported bank lending, or through the mutual support of company networks like the Japanese keiretsu.’
    • ‘The keiretsu system of interlocking cross-corporate ownership made it next to impossible to identify the real owners of Japanese capital.’
    • ‘In fact features of the Japanese economic and social system, such as the keiretsu relationships previously mentioned, are much more important than legal style in creating hurdles for foreign banks in Japan.’
    • ‘Until the mid-1990s about half of equities in Japan were held by banks, a legacy of the keiretsu cross-shareholding networks.’
    • ‘Korean conglomerates are known as chaebols and were introduced by the Japanese during their occupation, as a copy of the Japanese keiretsu.’
    • ‘The pressure to woo individuals, who tend to be long-term investors, is even stronger for companies which used to be part of old-line keiretsu, corporate groups held together by cross-shareholdings.’
    • ‘One of the premier advantages to keiretsu strategies is that it toughens the conglomerate against takeovers and drastic losses.’
    • ‘As keiretsu relationships undergo dissolution or restructuring, western suppliers, pre-sourced in global platforms, are eyeing the possibilities.’
    • ‘It's a system that locks together the interests of venture capitalists, bankers, lawyers, and entrepreneurs, much like Japan's keiretsu.’
    • ‘The weak control over lending was allowed because of the keiretsu tradition, which links companies with their banks via complex cross-shareholdings.’
    • ‘They're looking at a Japanese style of business, a keiretsu.’
    • ‘The owners are like the keiretsu that once lorded over the business landscape: they have grown too cozy with one another to operate efficiently.’
    • ‘This argument's validity can be deduced from the experiences of some of Japan's keiretsu, which share many characteristics with Korea's chaebol.’
    • ‘Traditionally, the vast majority of Japanese companies have been members of keiretsu business groups, in which participants hold a majority of one another's shares.’
    • ‘The keiretsu outfits must learn how to meet the benchmark - or risk losing the business.’
    • ‘The flagships of such groups are heavy industrial firms, banks, and general trading companies, and the largest keiretsu control dozens of firms in sectors that range from mining to mass media.’
    • ‘Tamiko is the well-paid employee of a keiretsu, looking for commercial property opportunities in the US.’


Japanese, from kei ‘systems’ + retsu ‘tier’.