The Heisei Era was a turbulent period for Japan’s economy. It was marked by protracted stagnation and sluggish growth following the collapse of the bubble boom, which peaked just as the era began in 1989 with the enthronement of Emperor Akihito, who is abdicating at the end of the month. While the economy may be on a more positive note as Heisei ends, structural challenges confronting the economy must be addressed as the top policy priority of the Reiwa Era.
In 1989, Japan accounted for 15 percent of the world’s economy; now its share of the global GDP is down to around 6 percent. Japan’s per-capita GDP is now in 20th place among 36 OECD members. Its global competitiveness has sharply declined. Leading Japanese companies, which used to dominate global rankings in terms of aggregate value, are now nearly gone from the list.