[KS] Re: Japanese Zaibutsu tactics
Richard C. Miller
rcmiller at students.wisc.edu
Mon Sep 4 10:18:03 EDT 2000
REPLY sends your message to the whole list
At 07:13 PM 9/4/00 KST, you wrote:
>zaibutsu, to my knowledge, does not mean anything. It's zaibatsu.
Zaibatsu means, roughly, "money clique" (zai= money, wealth; hatsu/batsu=
clan, group, clique). It refers to a group of corporations that share
resources, particularly (but not entirely) financial resources.
The term is actually no longer used today, in part because of the
colonial/wartime connotations, and in part because the business structures
are different. The preferred term now is "keiretsu," which means "series"
The New York Times just ran an article on Firestone/Bridgstone, by the way.
They claim (I don't remember, myself...) that Firestone got itself in the
financial trouble that enable its takeover by Bridgestone by (you guessed
it) selling tires they knew had design flaws that would lead to failure,
and then covering the whole thing up. This was in the Carter era; era
responded by proposing new regulations for the tire industry--but those
regulations were scuppered by Reagan at the request of the US automotive
industry, which at the time was losing money hand over fist to Japanese
So I don't know that you can label the company's current scandal as
"zaibatsu tactics." Sounds more like everyday predatory capitalism to me.
--Richard C. Miller
--UW School of Music
--rcmiller at students.wisc.edu
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