JAPAN: Surviving the Storm

The oil crisis originally appeared to many Japanese as an "economic Guadalcanal"—the point at which heady advance turned into steady retreat. Predictions abounded that the world's second richest economy, which depends on the Middle East for 84% of its oil, would fall into a 1974 recession or even depression. Nothing of the sort has happened. Despite an initial panic and rising inflation, oil imports dropped only slightly, and now that Japan is on the Arabs' list of "friends," the government unofficially predicts that 1974 imports will actually rise 4% or so over 1973. The doomsday...

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