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Arthur Alexander wrote:

According to the Penn World Table 9.0, Japanese GDP surpassed Germany’s in 1967, close enough to Meiji’s 100th. (Expenditure-side real GDP at current PPPs in 2011 US $)

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Unfortunately, I can't access the Penn Tables 9.0 data since I don't have a subscription.

The OECD uses *constant *prices  PPP, not current prices PPP as the Penn World Tables 9.0  data mentioned by Arthur Alexander does so Japan's GDP was  around 35% higher in 1970 and therefore higher throughout the 1960s.   Even if Japan's GDP didn't pass West Germany's in 1967 or 1968, the rapid increase in Japan's standard of living kept going beyond what was noted during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and that alone would have sparked greater interest.

Penn Tables 7.1 also has GDP per capita in constant prices (PPP) although for 2005 dollars. In 1970, Japan GDP per capita (PPP) of $14,000 and Germany had a GDP per capita of $16, 500.  So a $1.0 trillion GDP for Germany and a $1.4 trillion GDP for Japan in 1970, in 2005 dollars.

Todd Kreider

Penn Tables 7.1 Japan
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/RGDPCHJPA625NUPN

Penn Tables 7.1 Germany
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/RGDPCHDEA625NUPN

OECD
https://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?DataSetCode=PDB_LV



P.S. The World Bank has this explanation for anyone interested:

"Data reported in current (or “nominal”) prices for each year are in the value of the currency for that particular year. For example, current price data shown for 1990 are based on 1990 prices, for 2000 are based on 2000 prices, and so on. Other series in World Development Indicators (WDI) show data in "constant" or "real" terms. Constant series show the data for each year in the value of a particular base year. Thus, for example, data reported in constant 2010 prices show data for 1990, 2000, and all other years in 2010 prices.

Current series are influenced by the effect of price inflation. Constant series are used to measure the true growth of a series, i.e. adjusting for the effects of price inflation. For example (using year one as the base year), suppose nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rises from 100 billion to 110 billion, and inflation is about 4%. In real prices, the second year GDP would be approximately 106 billion, reflecting its true growth of 6%.
...

Please note that the term "real" has a different meaning when considering data in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms. While "nominal" GDP in the International Comparison Program does refer to the regular national accounts GDP in current prices, "real" GDP is considered to be the PPP GDP in current prices. We also show PPP GDP in constant prices by simply applying the regular national accounts growth rates for GDP to derive the series for PPP GDP in constant 2011 U.S. dollars."

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