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[Jap.,=money clique], the great family-controlled banking and industrial combines of modern Japan. The leading zaibatsu (called keiretsu after World War II) are Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Dai Ichi Kangyo, Sumitomo, Sanwa, and Fuyo.
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a leading financial-industrial monopoly group in Japan.
The Mitsubishi developed from a concern founded by the Iwasaki family in 1870. Growth of the group has been constantly linked with the predatory wars of imperialist Japan. Colossal profits were extracted from military contracts and from plundering occupied countries in Asia.
The smashing of Japanese imperialism in 1945 weakened the zaibatsu (monopolies) for a brief time, but the Mitsubishi succeeded in grouping most of its companies around its own central bank. Undivided control over the group by the Iwasaki family was replaced by control of leading families of the financial oligarchy, still including the Iwasaki. The Mitsubishi maintains close ties with American monopolies.
The group is headed by the Mitsubishi Bank and the commercial firm Mitsubishi Shoji. The highest organ of the Mitsubishi is the presidential assembly, in which the leaders of the main companies formirrg the group participate. The industrial core of the Mitsubishi is the machine-building company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The Mitsubishi also occupies a leading position in such industries as petroleum refining, petrochemicals, glass, and insurance in Japan. The group is also firmly positioned in electrical engineering, electronics, metallurgy, synthetic fiber manufacture, atomic energy, cement, and other industrial sectors.
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