The NY Times has an opinion piece that makes the case that Japan has performed quite well in the supposed lost decade.
True the real estate prices and stock market have not recovered past highs.
However, GDP per capita has done well, especially if Shadowstats is right about US GDP being overestimated. Life expectancy has increased and is 4.8 years better than the USA. The life expectancy is due to better healthcare and came in spite of adoption of a less healthy western diet.
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