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Multinational Business in Japan and South East Asia: Keiretsu inter-firm structure

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  1. The rise of the keiretsus
    1. Creation of keiretsu
    2. The keiretsu inter-firm structure
    3. The advantages of the keiratsus
  2. The decline of keiratsus
    1. Reasons of the decline
    2. Consequences of the decline

The keiretsu structure played a major role in the emergence of Japan as a leading global economic power after the World War II. But today, keiretsu structure has become an issue in debates concerning Japan's place in the international trading system. The keiretsu structure protected the companies from the vagaries of the market and helped them to grow. On the other hand, those companies had a less proactive approach in confronting the changes in the environment, and did not react on time. The purpose of this essay is to explain the keiretsu inter-firm structure which raised the Japanese economy, and to understand the decline of keiretsu and its position today. Keiretsu is written with two Chinese characters: "kei? meaning "system" and "retsu? meaning "line". In other words, it can be best defined as the framework of relationships that links banks, manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors. Also, the keiretsu structure cooperates with the Japanese government. Two forms of keiretsus are distinguished: financial or horizontal keiretsus known as the "Big Six", and vertical keiretsu which are suppliers or assembly firms such as Toyota and Matsushita. To understand the topic, we should underline historical and economical facts.

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