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It is interesting though. I wonder why Japan peaked in 1991? Perhaps as simple as the start of the Chinese ascendancy in exports, and from then onwards 'Made in China' just gradually replaced 'Made in Japan' for the pejorative sense of the phrase, which is why it has now returned to pre-1980 levels, which would be a simple factual usage of the phrase?

The Japanese economy went into a big recession in the early 90s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Decade_(Japan)

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