Japan is no longer the world's second largest economy

China has formally overtaken Japan as the world's second largest economy.

The latest official figures from Tokyo show Japan's gross domestic product increased by just under four per cent in 2010, a far slower rate of growth than China's and not enough to keep its economy ahead.

This marks the end of an era for Japan which has been the world's second biggest economy for more than 40 years.

The news, while not a shock given China's surging growth, is likely to be a psychological blow to Japan's economy.

The BBC's Roland Buerk examines whether this will mean a period of relative decline for Japan compared to China, and how this will impact on the prospects of its younger generation.

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