Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko wave to well-wishers before leaving Ujiyamada Station after their visit to Ise Jingu shrine in Ise, Mie Prefecture, on April 18. Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool via REUTERS
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Heisei to be remembered as period of peace, disasters, wealth gaps

20 Comments
By Satoshi Iizuka

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Heisei to be remembered as period of peace, disasters, wealth gaps

Same as any other period...…………...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I have lived in Japan for almost a complete era. So much happened in that time.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

At least no nuclear bombs were dropped on Japan for provoking its neighbors. That is an accomplishment.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Lets hope the next era is at least as peaceful, yet hopefully more prosperous for all!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

To me, it is the era of the decline of the Japanese economy. They went from economic heroes to economic zeros in a few short decades. Yes, it is still the world's third largest economy, but it also the world's slowest recovering economy. In actual fact, it is not recovering at all. It is still declining. Let's hope the coming era is one of domestic prosperity and wealth sharing. All the recent international scandals involving japanese corporations has damaged japan's international reputation beyond repair.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

In some people's minds the last eara was a bubble burst, the previous one of mass rape and abortary killing , next? I'm guessing beauracratic control. So good luck for calendar makers.They got a heads up. .

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

GWToday  04:32 pm JST

"Heisei to be remembered as period of peace, disasters, wealth gaps"

Same as any other period...…………...

Exactly. Less disasterous, anyway. Meiji era had wars a plenty and assassinations in addition to earthquakes and tsunami. The brief Taisho period also saw war, political assassinations and the Great Kanto Quake with over 145,000 deaths. Showa - devastating war, assassinations, terrorism - but maybe less "wealth gap" than the other eras.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As Disillusion indicated.

Heisei began with Japan at the peak of the bubble, a false economy fraught with underlying catastrophes to unfold.

And unfold they did, plunging the economy and the citizens of Japan into a hell that they were never to recover from. Astronomical real estate prices collapsed leaving ordinary folks with a life time of debt, with no way out and the prospect of the "beautiful future" played out by J.Inc becoming a sad cracked reality.

Aside from the terrible loss of lives in disasters, the crumpling of society by the bursting bubble was the greatest tragedy and had the greatest impact of any "event" of the Heisei era.

A miserable time for many.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It was an era of peace for Japan (the only era of peace for Japan in the modern era; Japan took part in numerous overseas wars in the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa periods). But it was also the era in which Japanese exceptionalism vis-a-vis other Asian countries was completely discredited. In the Heisei Era, South Korea and Taiwan emerged as fully advanced industrialized capitalist democracies. China and India, both largely poverty-stricken agrarian societies in 1989, emerged from their slumbers and reclaimed their logical places at the center of the global economy. Today China and India are the world's top two steel producers. Who could have imagined such a thing when Akihito took the throne 30 years ago?

It's now very weird to realize that some Japanese once thought that they had good reason to look down on other Asians and naturally believed that Japan ought to lead while other Asians follow.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I regard the Heisei period as one of economic, social and moral decline of Japan, along with declining world influence. The only rise has been that of an ugly nationalism.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Ex_Res: I regard the Heisei period as one of economic, social and moral decline of Japan, along with declining world influence.

Not sure I have the perspective to agree with that. Japan is now a solid democratic ally of the West. However, the entire country is entering mid-life crisis with the median age about 47 (the next highest is Italy I think at 45). This is a period of angst, and recognition of declining power and influence, but maybe more stability and serenity. This trend will only continue and accelerate. I think in human history we have never seen a society with such an old median age so this is uncharted territory.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No nation is perfect, but Japan was one of the best places to visit and live during the Heisei era. I don't care for the current nationalistic government of Abe, but that is what usually happens when the populace of a country feel neglected and abused. They turn to nationalism.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

... roughly two "lost decades" of stagnation.

Try three.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"The tide rises. The tide falls..." Let's hang in boys, we're gonna make it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

... And Carlos Gosen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Isn't that every era?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And Carlos Gosen.

I feel that the arrest of Carlos Ghosn and his subsequent treatment under Japanesr Law / Rule of Law, puts a sour end to the Heisei period, and an uncomfortable start to the Reiws era.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The emperor and empress visited my granddaughter's elementary school classroom 2 days ago here in Hachioji (where his father's grave is) her personal assessment of the emperor..."He was really funny!"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@sensei258: that is a great experience that she can tell her grandkids about some day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Heisei to be remembered as period of peace

I wonder if having the U.S. military stationed in Japan had anything to do with that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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