Define: Zaibatsu

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Zaibatsu


Quick Summary of Zaibatsu


A Zaibatsu is a Japanese conglomerate.



What is the dictionary definition of Zaibatsu?

Dictionary Definition


A Zaibatsu is a Japanese conglomerate.

Zaibatsu (財閥, “financial clique”) is a Japanese term referring to industrial and financial business conglomerates in the Empire of Japan, whose influence and size allowed control over significant parts of the Japanese economy.


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Full Definition of Zaibatsu


It differs from a keiretsu in having a bank as it’s dominant member.

Historically, a family-controlled vertically integrated cartel of industrial and financial business that existed in Japan prior to World War 2.

Although, the zaibatsu were officially dissolved in 1946, the 3 largest ones, Mitsui, Mitsubishi and Sumito, gave rise to respective enterprise groups which retained, to a certain extent, control over economic activity and contributed to Japan’s economic growth after the war.


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Examples of Zaibatsu in a sentence


Occupation reformers believed the Zaibatsu played a key role in fostering Japanese fascism and militarism.



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This glossary post was last updated: 4th May 2019.