Japan: Past, Present, and Future
After World War II, Japan was completely destroyed. The war cost Japan and many islands in the Pacific millions of lives and left much of the country's industry and infrastructure in ruins. In 1947, Japan adopted a new pacifist constitution that emphasized more liberal democratic practices. After the Treaty of San Francisco was signed the Allied forces left the country and gave Japan the chance to rebuild itself. In 1956, Japan was granted access to the United Nation. Over the next three decades would experience exponential economic growth. However in recent years, Japan has struggled with economic problems and political upheaval. The year 2010 is going to be another difficult and challenging year, with economic deflation demanding the adoption of a new growth strategy and a July upper-house election, which could create a historical divide of Japan’s politics. From the 1960’s to the late 80’s was a in a period many like to call the “Japanese miracle.” The country experienced large amount of economic growth becoming the world’s second wealthiest country. In the 1990’s however the country’s growth slowed and in the 2000’s the country’s economy failed. When the global economy crashed, Japan did not struggle as much as others, but the fall in the amount of exports has plummeted Japan into its worst recession in decades. After expanding by 2.3 percent in 2007, GDP shrank by 1.2 percent in 2008, and then by more than five percent in 2009. The Japanese economy hit rock bottom in the first quarter 2009, but economic recovery is still sluggish and at this time the level of economic activity is still below pre-crisis levels. Moreover, Japan has fell into a period of constant deflation, which now presents a difficult challenge to the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy. This deflation puts pressure on businesses and the government through raising debt and reducing sales and tax revenue. If businesses respond to this...
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