The Bubble Economy




Nikkei 225 Stock market index  wikipedia


Until the 1990s, the Japanese economy looked unstoppable and the Nikkei reached a high of 39,000.  Books of the period, such as James Fallow's  were predicting the demise of America due to the 'Japanese Juggernaut.' However, like the American housing bubble which burst in 2008, the Japanese property began to bubble burst in January 1990. By October of 1990 the Tokyo stock market had lost 48% of its value. Japanese banks had a huge amount of bad loans, as many were backed by now deflated stock shares.In four of the years since the bubble burst, the Japanese economy grew less than 1%. The policies that worked so well to bring the post economic miracle began to strangle the mature economy. Key industries were protected from compettition. As a result of the economic problems and scandals, the Liberal Democretic Party (LDP) was defeated in 1993 by a coaltion of eight reform groups .


The Kobe Quake and Aum Shinrikyo sarin attack



 Kobe earthquake


The Kobe earthquake of 1995 which killed 6,000 and the goverments slow and confused response further shook the people's confidence in the government .



 Aum Shinrikyo sarin gas attack


In March of 1995 the Aum Shinrikyo cult attacked the Tokyo subway system ( 地下鉄サリン事件), killing 12 people. The reason for the attacks are still unclear, perhaps to hasten an apocalypse or divert attention from an earlier gas attack in 1994 which killd 7 people.The leader of the cult, Shoko Asahara, was sentenced to death and is curently awaiting execution.

The LDP was able to return to power in 1996. In 2001, Koizumi Junichiro became prime minister and promised a host of dramtic reforms to get the economy moving again. In 2001, in response to the 9/11 attacks in New York, the Diet allowed a change in the constitution to allow the Japanese Self Defense Force to carry out military actions abroad.By 2003, the Japanese economy had grow somewhat and grew by 3.2%. Today the prime minister is Taro Aso of the LDP.


 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami  Friday March 11, 2011


It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded to have hit Japan, and the fourth most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900 . The earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached heights of up to 40.5 metres (133 ft) in Miyako in Tōhoku's Iwate Prefecture . On 10 March 2015, a Japanese National Police Agency report confirmed 15,894 deaths .



A documentary about the tsunami in japan


Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster

Immediately after the earthquake, the active reactors automatically shut down their sustained fission reactions. However, the tsunami destroyed the emergency generators cooling the reactors, causing reactor 4 to overheat from the decay heat from the fuel rods. The insufficient cooling led to three nuclear meltdowns and the release of radioactive material beginning on 12 March. Several hydrogen-air chemical explosions occurred between 12 March and 15 March.



 The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan, following a devastating earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011 which claimed nearly 19,000 lives. It is the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 and only the second disaster to measure Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.



Post War Prime Ministers of Japan and notable events of their Administration


Kijūrō Shidehara

幣原 喜重郎

Oct 1945-

May 1946

Appointed to serve as prime minister because of pro-American and pacifist leaning in pre-war Japan


 Shidehara and his cabinet drafted a new constitution for Japan

proposed Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution which forbids Japan from waging war.




Shigeru Yoshida

吉田 茂

May 1946-

May 1947

Policies to rebuilt Japanese industry while relying on the US for defens, known as the  Yoshida Doctrine



Tetsu Katayama

片山 哲

May 1947-

March 1948

First socialist and first Christian, to serve as Prime Minister of Japan

Suzuki Mosaburô passed a veto over Katayama's proposed budget which sought to gain more aid from the US by rearming, which later led to the downfall of the cabinet and Katayama's resignation



Hitoshi Ashida



March 1948-

Oct 1948


Forced to resign after members of his cabinet were involved in the Showa Electric scandal



Shigeru Yoshida

吉田 茂

Oct 1948-Dec 1954

re-elected to three terms



Ichirō Hatoyama

鳩山 一郎


Dec 1954-

Dec 1956

relations reestablished with Soviet Union


Liberal Democratic Party 自由民主党 founded through a merger of the Liberal Party and the Japan Democratic Party to confront the popular Japan Socialist Party. The CIA spent millions from the 1950s to the 1970s to defeat the Japanese Socialists and Communist parties

Hatoyama decided to retire in 1956



Tanzan Ishibashi

石橋 湛山

Dec 1956-

Feb 1957

resigned after two months due to illness, proposed establishing relations with mainland China



Nobusuke Kishi

岸 信介

Feb 1957-

June 1958

Japan joins UN Security Council

US-Japan Mutual Security Treaty renewed over protests



Hayato Ikeda

池田 勇人


July 1960-

Nov 1964

income doubling plan

economy grew 11.6% in 1960



Eisaku Satō



Longest serving prime minister of Japan

strong growth in economy

student protest over the US-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty

Japan enters Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

strong supporter of Taiwan

Okinawa returned to Japan in 1971

won Nobel Peace Rize in 1974



Kakuei Tanaka

田中 角栄


July 1972-

Dec 1974

former head of MITI

normalization of relations with mainland China

resigned due to scandals

arrested for taking bribe from Lockheed, sentenced to 4 years in jail, but did not serve due to poor health



Takeo Miki

三木 武夫


Dec 1974-

Dec 1976

called for investigation of Lockheed bribery scandal, making many enemies

popular for his clean government stance



Takeo Fukuda

福田 赳夫

Dec 1976-

Dec 1978




Masayoshi Ōhira

大平 正芳

Dec 1978-

June 1980

died of heart attack in office



Zenko Suzuki

鈴木 善幸


July 1980-

Nov 1982

appointed prime minister after death of Ohira



Yasuhiro Nakasone

中曽根 康弘

Nov 1982-

Nov 1987

pushed through the privatization of state-owned companies

twice visited Yasukuni Shrine



Noboru Takeshita

竹下 登

Nov 1987-

June 1989

Forced to reseign during the recruit insider trading scandal



Sōsuke Uno

宇野 宗佑

June 1989-

Aug 1989

introduced consumption tax

resigned due to sex scandal with a geisha



Toshiki Kaifu

海部 俊樹

Aug 1989-

Nov 1991

ran on clean leadership platform, unable to push through reforms

resigned in 1991



Kiichi Miyazawa

宮澤 喜一

Nov 1991-

Aug 1993

passing law allowing Japanese troops to be sent overseas

introduced financial reforms for the post bubble economy



Morihiro Hosokawa

細川 護煕

Aug 1993-

April 1994

First non-LDP prime minister (Japan New Party)

called the Pacific War a "war of aggression, a mistaken war"

introducted electorial reforms

forced to resign under allegations he had misused funds



Tsutomu Hata

羽田 孜


April 1994-

June 1994




Tomiichi Murayama

村山 富市

June 1994-

Jan 1996

First Socialist prime minister in post war Japan

government criticised for handling of Kobe earthquake

prime minister during Aum Shinrikyo

publically apologised for WWII atrocities



Ryutaro Hashimoto

橋本 龍太郎


introduced measures to oprn Japanese economy



Keizō Obuchi



July 1998-

April 2000

increased public spending and decreased taxes to tro to stimilate the economy

Had a stroke in April 2000



Yoshirō Mori

森 喜朗

April 2000-

April 2001




Junichiro Koizumi

小泉 純一郎

April 2001-

Sept 2006

led efforts revitize the economy and solve the bad debt banking crisis

privatized the Japan Postal Bank

Tokyo stock market recovered

expansion of Self defense Force, Japanese troops sent to Iraq

visited Yasukuni Shrine six times, causing tensions with Korea and China



Shinzō Abe

安倍 晋三

Sept 2006-

Sept 2007

youngest prime minster in post war Japan at age 52

supported the new textbook reform, which denied Korean comfort women issue

resiegned due to low popularity



Yasuo Fukuda

福田 康夫

Sept 2007-

Sept 2008

Son of prime minister Takeo Fukuda


announced resignation on Sept 1, 2008 to improve the political process



Taro Aso



Sept 24 2008-

Sept 16 2009

some  controversy over statents made such as :


"We are not going to let someone from the buraku become the prime minister are we?"


stated that Japan is  "one nation, one civilization, one language, one culture, and one race, the like of which there is no other on this earth.:


and also over forced labor used by the family mining company in pre-war and WWII.



Yukio Hatoyama

Sept 16 2009-present










Timeline of Japanese History





wordpress statistics