This is an op-ed—meaning it is the author's personal view—from The New York Times.
For nearly the last two decades, Japan has been held up as a cautionary tale, an object lesson on how not to run an advanced economy. After all, the island nation is the rising superpower that stumbled. And Western economists were scathing in their criticisms of Japanese policy.
In January 1990, Japan's stock market crashed. Property values fell 87%. The Bank of Japan lowered the interest rate from 6 percent to 0.5 percent by 1995, but it didn't revive the economy
These days, I often find myself thinking that we ought to apologize.
The West has, in fact, fallen into a slump similar to Japan’s—but worse. And that wasn’t supposed to happen. In the 1990s, we assumed that if the United States or Western Europe found themselves facing anything like Japan's economic slump, we would respond much more effectively than the Japanese had. But we didn't, even though we had Japan's experience to guide us.