Before China, there was Japan.

From the 1960s to the 1980s, Japan was on a roll. They had one of the highest economic growth rates in the world. Their manufacturing prowess grew to be the envy of the world. Their stock market soared 373 percent between 1980 and its peak in 1989. And, like China today, there were predictions that Japan would overtake the United States as the largest economy in the world.

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