Is Spring coming to Japan?
After achieving its post war economic miracle in the 1960s, Japan emerged in the quarter century after 1965 as the main economic challenger to the United States. Indeed, it played a role somewhat similar to that now being played by China. Then, in 1992, its bubble collapsed and since then commentary on Japan has focused almost exclusively on its two "lost decades" of stagnation and decline.
While this has been exaggerated (Japan’s GDP growth over the past twenty years when adjusted for population growth and inflation is about the same as America’s), it is a fact that Japan’s population is shrinking and that its relative weight in the global economy and influence in world affairs has fallen.