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Japan in Crisis

July 26, 2002 • Volume 12, Issue 26
Are its economic and social problems solvable?
By David Masci

Introduction

Falling stock prices trouble a Japanese businessman in Tokyo last April. The Nikkei stock index has lost three-quarters of its value since its 1988 high.  (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
Falling stock prices trouble a Japanese businessman in Tokyo last April. The Nikkei stock index has lost three-quarters of its value since its 1988 high. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Once the economic envy of the world, Japan now is entering the second decade of a nearly continuous recession, with no end in sight. Unemployment, homelessness and crime are on the rise, and the banking system is lurching toward collapse under the weight of a trillion dollars in bad loans. Even the election last year of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on a radical reform platform has produced little change, owing in part to the power of special-interest politics. Japan also must deal with the economic costs of an increasingly aging population, and growing competition from neighboring countries. Meanwhile, since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City and the Pentagon, the U.S. has pressured Japan to help in the war against terrorism, triggering a debate within the country over its longstanding prohibition against sending troops into overseas combat.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Japan
Jul. 26, 2002  Japan in Crisis
May 31, 1991  The U.S. And Japan
Apr. 09, 1982  Tensions in U.S.-Japanese Relations
Jul. 01, 1977  Japanese Elections
Mar. 04, 1970  Emergent Japan
Jun. 25, 1969  Okinawa Question
Jan. 05, 1966  Rising Japanese Nationalism
Jun. 02, 1960  Japan: Disturbed Ally
Nov. 18, 1959  Japanese Competition in International Trade
May 11, 1955  Relations With Japan
Nov. 03, 1954  Japan's Economy
Jan. 09, 1952  Trade with Japan
Feb. 28, 1951  Japan and Pacific Security
Sep. 19, 1947  Peace with Japan
Aug. 14, 1945  Emperor of Japan
Nov. 03, 1944  Russo-Japanese Relations
Dec. 09, 1939  The United States and Japan's New Order in Asia
Dec. 05, 1938  Japan and the Open Door Policy
Apr. 29, 1935  Japanese Foreign Trade Expansion
May 11, 1934  Japanese Policy in Asia
Oct. 12, 1932  Japanese-American Relations
Mar. 17, 1932  Boycotts and Embargoes
Feb. 10, 1932  Militarism Vs. Liberalism in Japan
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific
Terrorism and Counterterrorism
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