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Issue Guide: Japan and the Global Financial Crisis

May 2009


The economic turmoil of 2007 and 2008 had mixed effects on the Japanese economy. Going into the crisis, Japanese banks--and consumers more generally--held much less debt than their counterparts in Europe and the United States. As a result, no major Japanese bank collapsed during the crisis, and some Japanese financial institutions were well-placed to swoop in and purchase assets at greatly reduced prices as the crisis progressed. Japan's iconic automaker Toyota, however, experienced the first yearly losses in its history in 2008. The Japanese yen soared in value during the latter half of 2008 as international governments dropped interest rates, undermining the profitability of the "carry trade" through which many investors had bet on interest rate disparities. By April 2009, however, sagging global demand had taken a toll on Japan's economy, nearly halving the country's exports and leading Tokyo into its first trade deficit in thirty years.

The following is a list of resources on Japan's economy and the crisis.

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