Following the start of a recession in March 1991 triggered by the burst of economic bubbles, the Japanese economy's real-term growth rate remained exceptionally low at an annual average of 0.9 percent through fiscal 2013, which ended at the end of March this year.

This is in stark contrast with an average 9.4 percent high growth that the Japanese economy achieved almost uninterruptedly during the period of from fiscal 1958 through fiscal 1973.

What put an end to the high economic growth was the oil crisis of October 1973, which sent shocks throughout the world. During the ensuing fiscal 1974, the Japanese economy experienced negative growth for the first time since the end of World War II with dark clouds hanging over its path.