Has the growth of Japan's economy stopped because of the recession?
During the 1990s, the years following the collapse of the "bubble economy," the Japanese economy continued to experience a long recession.
In 1995 the exchange value of the yen reached an all-time high of around 80 yen to a dollar.
It was a time when Japanese exports were losing international competitive power, and also a time when Japan was being pressured by the rest of the world to eliminate import restrictions on a variety of products, including rice.
Nevertheless, until 1996 there was a positive annual economic growth rate.
The growth rate turned negative, however, in 1997 and 1998, Many enterprises went bankrupt, and many did what they could to try to survive the recession through restructuring.
Much greater numbers of people became unemployed.
Previously, unemployment been seen mainly among part-time and very young workers, but by the end of the 1990s there were many more unemployed among all age groups.
By the year 2000, the Japanese economy had left the worst of this situation behind.
A recovery of stock prices was seen, especially after the adoption of a zero interest rate policy in February 1999.
As one sign of the effectiveness of government policies to revive the economy, the growth rate again began to improve.