This chapter presents an overview of market capitalism and the business sector in Japan. It explores the network of alliances among the major corporations that make up the Japanese economy, and provides a schematic representation of strategic alliances and intermarket keiretsu. The chapter also suggests that the proliferation of complex new forms of strategic alliances elsewhere has raised the issue of how different Japanese patterns of intercorporate relations really are. The analysis indicates that intercorporate alliance structures are a core feature of Japanese market capitalism and that they also represent a form of rational economic organization.
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