Prior to Mr Abe’s appointment as Prime Minister of Japan in December 2012, Japan had suffered two decades of economic stagnation and deflation. This economic malaise came immediately after the housing and stock price bubble collapses of the 1990s. In November 2012, the Tokyo Stock Exchange sat at around 8,000, less than a quarter of its peak in 1989, and land prices in urban commercial sectors were at one-fifth of their high water mark. Throughout these two decades, the real economic growth rate was less than 1 per cent per annum and the rate of inflation fell into the negative after the global financial crisis of 2008. What was particularly frustrating to the Japanese business community was the rampant appreciation of the yen, which accelerated despite such poor growth and the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. After his election, Abe pressed the Bank of Japan to embark on a bold policy of monetary easing, succeeding in achieving both a weaker yen and a rising stock market.