chapter
14 Pages

Introduction

WithSatoshi Ikeda

In the second half of the twentieth century, the Japanese economy rose from the ashes of the Second World War to achieve a status of the largest international creditor country in the late 1980s. The phenomenon of the “Japanese miracle” includes Japan’s swift recovery between 1945 to 1955, spectacular rapid economic growth between 1955 to 1973, quick recovery from repeated oil price increases in the 1970s, and better-than-average growth since 1974 when the rate of economic growth slowed down world-wide. The “Japanese miracle” of the 1950s through the 1980s, however, was followed by the protracted recession in the 1990s. Despite optimism expressed repeatedly by the Japanese government (see, for example, various issues of White Paper on Economy published by the Economic Planning Agency in the 1990s) and by the international supra-state organizations (see, for example, OECD Economic Outlook, December 1997; OECD Economic Surveys: Japan, November 1997), expansionary Japanese policies have failed to put the Japanese economy back on the path of steady growth.