[Japanese Version] Japan 2010: The lost years



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This case takes a look at the events that led up to the bursting of Japan’s stock-market bubble in 2010. It begins by describing the economic situation in Japan in the 1980s at the start of the crisis, delving into the appreciation of the yen, loss of competitiveness, low interest rates, the over-valuation of the stock market leading to inflation and the upward trend in the unemployment rate. It emphasizes that there were twenty years of poor political leadership where the political party changed frequently. The case outlines the government in Japan during the nineties and includes a detailed description of how each prime minister’s actions affected the economy. Then in 2001, seeking economic recovery, Koizumi’s government launched a comprehensive plan of reforms based on solving the problem of bad debts, establishing a stable financial system and defining seven programs of structural reform. When Koizumi left office, the economic situation was unstable and between 2006 and 2009, up to three different prime ministers occupied the post. Between 2007 and 2009, stimulus packages implemented by the government caused public debt as a percentage of Japan’s GDP to increase nearly 55 percent. This led the Bank of Japan to take emergency measures. In 2009, Hatoyama came into power, ending the Koizumi era. The government then had their chance to put an end to the “lost years.”

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