Will Toyota Play Sugar Daddy?

Sakura Bank needs a rescue, but the carmaker is balking

It all started way back in 1949, when a little Japanese auto maker called Toyota Motor Corp. almost went broke. Vicious labor disputes crippled the company as it was struggling to pull itself up from the ashes of World War II. Needing cash, the company borrowed $1.7 million from Teikoku Bank, a Toyota stockholder and the sugar daddy of the Mitsui keiretsu. Toyota was saved from oblivion, and Teikoku later became Sakura Bank Ltd.--to this day a major Toyota shareholder and creditor.

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