From number one to number nothing: Japan's Fin de Siecle Blues
It is already nearly 20 years since Japan was declared 'Number One'. Vogel's book was not so much a statement as a prediction, for that is what Japan did indeed become, or at least seem to become, during the 1980s. But if the 1980s, especially the latter half of the decade, was the age of 'Japan triumphant', the 1990s has been a time of Japan stumbling, uncertain, withdrawn; the prospects for the approaching century are very opaque.
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