Japan's international economic activities have been divided into three stages. The first stage is the period 1955-1971, the era of the old IMF-GATI system, when "export for export's sake" and heavy and chemical industrialization dominated every aspect of economic activity. The second is the period 1971-1980, which includes the collapse of the old IMF system, the two oil crises, and the world depression. In this period almost all Japanese firms tried to undertake severe rationalization measures, while the government made desperate efforts to adjust its economic policies to the new international circumstances. The third stage runs from the beginning of the 1980s to the present. During these years, while Japan has been successful in gaining greater economic power, economic confrontations involving Japan have been considerably intensified.