This growth rate had a huge impact on the social structure of the country and meant significant changes for people on the whole as we shall later discuss.
The government policies favored encouraging savings, promoting investments, supporting newly emerging industry and promoting exports. Between 1965 and 1970 average growth rate was 11.1% (Financial statistics of Japan, Ministry of Finance, 2005)
The steady growth rate of almost 10% per annum helped Japan overtake Federal Republic of Germany in terms of GNP by 1968 to become 2nd only to United States of America. The 1973 oil crisis came as an economic shock to Japan. The second oil price increase of 1979 meant that the oil prices which were around $12.75 a barrel in 1974 increased nearly by 300% to $34 a barrel in 1981. Japan, being almost totally dependent on imported oil reacted quickly by adopting a policy of monetary constraints and improved its energy efficiency to stay competitive and the decline in exports in 1980-2 were recovered by 1984 proving that Japan has the ability to bounce back.
The two decades following the Japan's meteoric rise were the years of globalization. 1980-2000 were the years when the economic development suffered a slow down all over the world. [Weisbrot et al, 2001] call it the period of diminished progress. The 2nd oil price increase of 1979, globalization and flow of capital to third world countries and economic mismanagement have all been blamed for the decline [Weisbrot et al, 2001]. The IMF figures of real per capita GDP (in constant 2000 US$) shows that when compared to 1960-80, almost in all cases per capita GDP declined during the two decades 0f 1980-2000. For the top GDP bracket (which includes Japan), the annual rate of GDP growth fell by 1%.
Reference: [Weisbrot et al, 2001]
Japanese society has also undergone changes. It is a nation with a rich cultural society, which reflects its traditional, stratificational and regional stretch. Japan too has cultural groups on the grounds of economic standards of people. Within these different local cultures, there are few groups who are welcoming towards any change introduced, this is the reason because of which the Japanese adapted to Western culture without any constrains or regret.
The local Japanese culture can be categorized into, 'Mass culture, Alternative culture and Folk culture'( Sugimoto's: Introduction to Japanese society).
Mass culture, culture that has been under the influence of media and market. The culture has been dependant upon the progress in mass communication, local consumer market and social activities on domestic and international level.
Alternative culture, culture that was practiced by those who were much uncomfortable with the local traditions and cultural activities.
Folk culture, it's the traditional old culture of Japanese people; however it is as diversified as the country's geographical stretch.
Sugimoto believes that 'Japan has frequently been portrayed as a uniquely homogeneous society both racially and ethnically'(An Introduction to Japan), this has been much advantageous for Japanese society. Although such differences can be source of