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Japan’s Lost Decade and Two Recoveries

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Chapter Summary

The central argument that the author makes in this chapter is that much of what we associate with the late 1990s, such as the sense of deadlock, must be understood not only as a result of the economic recession but also against the backdrop of previous traumas, especially the trauma of the New Left's defeat in the 1970s. The chapter provides a brief background on developments following the burst of the bubble economy in the early 1990s. It then explains how these interacted with the legacy of the New Left to set the stage for the development of freeter activism. The changes brought on Japanese society with the onset of the post-bubble recession in the early 1990s and the ensuing neoliberal reforms and deregulations that gained force from the mid-1990s onwards have been important factors shaping freeter activism.

Keywords: bubble economy; economic recession; Japan; neoliberal reforms; New Left activists



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