Japan has been stuck with deflation/extremely low inflation for decades. You could go away for years and come back to find most things costs the same as they did. Probably the more apt comparison is the precariousness of work - after the bubble burst a lot of people could only get temporary contracts, not the usual jobs for life, and that generation is now getting old. It's a growing social problem. Probably a similar thing will happen to people all working in the gig economy now, or those in the UK on zero-hour contracts. At the same time, I get the sense that social immobility is probably worse in the US/West.there’s a line of thought i’m particular towards that says the japanification of american culture is a second mover to the japanification of the american economy—stagnant wages, growing cost of living, all routes to prosperity sufficiently remote that most youth are basically forced into marginality. the casualization of sex work happened in the 90s there, alongside the asian financial crisis and the associated stagflation. It was treated as a cultural trend there too, which is an obvious frame to choose if you don’t want to talk about being hard up for cash.
I'm curious what people actually mean by 'the Japanification of culture,' beyond more people liking anime. To me that expression is getting at how that culture is actually produced, and I don't know how much overlap there is there. For example the Japanese film industry has gone to shit - at least in terms of international relevance - because films are basically made by committee with marketing concerns and tie-ins with established tarento taking precedence over everything. Maybe the music industry is taking more cues now from the way J-pop works, but as a sound it's K-pop that has more traction globally.