In a visit to Japan in the early 1990s, U.S. President George H.W. Bush threw up over the Japanese prime minister. When President Barack Obama visited Japan last weekend, he offered an effusive bow to the Emperor Akihito.
Politically, U.S.-Japanese relations have improved dramatically during that two-decade stretch.
Yet investor regard for Japan has gone the opposite way. Twenty years ago - in the midst of the Japanese stock-and-real-estate bubble - U.S. and other world investors were kowtowing to Japanese investments - and banging their heads on the floor in the process.