Japan’s economy has seen its biggest slump since the oil crisis of the 1970s. Latest figures show its economy contracted by 3.3 percent in the last quarter of 2008 — an annual rate of 12.7 percent. While not suffering directly from America and Europe’s credit woes, its economy has witnessed a massive drop in global demand.
Japan’s heavy reliance on exports, particularly on cars and electronics, together with a high yen and low domestic consumption are being blamed. Japan’s Economics Minister Kaoru Yosano said:
‘‘It is inevitable that in order for economic growth to happen, we need to have this major adjustment to the excess credit supply and excess consumption in countries such as the United States. Japan can not escape the pain of restructuring seen in other major countries.’‘
However, Japan’s stock markets brushed off the bad news, which had been expected, with the Nikkei share index falling only slightly.