Japan's 'lost decades' have many characterized, but the main factors are the following five features. The first is the speed of the economic decline witnessed and the dramatic contrast this made with the earlier era of high economic growth and global prowess. The second feature of Japan's lost decades is its prolonged duration-coupled with remarkable, if not paradoxical, social stability. The third feature is that the lost decades were in fact an era marked by reform-or at least attempts at reform. The fourth feature of the lost decades pitted a stagnant Japan against two particularly vibrant and rising neighbors: China and South Korea. The fifth feature of the lost decades is the effect that the Showa era continues to exert over the people of Japan-even though nearly a quarter of a century has passed since the start of the new Heisei era. This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts coverd in the preceding chapter of this book.