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oil crisis of 1973

Often referred to as the "oil shock"; the economic and political crisis resulting from oil export restrictions adopted by Arab countries toward pro-Israeli governments during the 1973 Middle East war. The quadrupling of oil prices by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) caused an economic recession in Japan and prompted a major revision of the nation's Middle East policy and the adoption of measures to reduce dependence on oil. The cabinet adopted a new set of policies toward the Middle East, including the recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people, and pledged to review all of its relations with Israel, which prior to this time had been quite close. The oil crisis is considered by many to have been a watershed, marking the end of the period of rapid growth in the Japanese economy. In the ensuing years, government policy emphasized stable growth at a moderate level. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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