Since the start of October, the Japanese stock market has shown weak performance. Heightened concerns over the worsening economic climates in Europe and China and less bullish forecasts on the U.S. economic recovery drove stocks in Europe and the U.S. sharply down, with the Japanese market following suit. In addition, a strengthening of the yen versus the U.S. dollar due to falling long-term interest rates in the U.S. has also weighed on stocks.