Future historians may well mark the mid-1980s as the time when Japan surpassed the United States to become the world’s dominant economic power. […] America’s GNP may remain larger than Japan’s well into the 1990s (depending on exchange rate measurements), but there are many reasons to believe that Japan will extend its lead as the world’s dominant economic power in the years ahead.

— Ezra F. Vogel, “Pax Nipponica?”, Foreign Affairs, Spring 1986, pg 752.

According to the 2004 World Almanac, the United States in 2002 had a $10.4 trillion economy, while Japan had a $3.6 trillion economy, when measured in American dollars.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the American economy grew 57.5% (after adjusting for inflation) between 1986 and 2001, measured in American dollars. According to the Japan Statistical Yearbook 2004, the Japanese economy grew 42.5% (after adjusting for inflation) during the same time period, measured in Japanese yen.

At that rate, “America’s GNP may remain larger than Japan’s” well into the 2090s.

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