Four years later in 1968, Japan overtook Germany as the then second-largest economy in the world.
Today, as it hosts another round of annual meetings, the picture is much different. It has lost the number two spot in the global economy rank to China.
News stories about Japan's economy have been dismal with issues such as years of stagnation, falling prices and ballooning deficits.
Other developed economies, such as the US and Europe which have their share of similar problems, talk about learning from Japan's mistakes.
The mood of the country, which global leaders and central bankers visit this week, might be very different to that of 1964.
But Japan again has something that it wants to showcase to the world: its recovery from the country's worst natural disaster in living memory.
It has been just more than a year-and-a-half since the magnitude 9 earthquake hit the north-east of Japan.
The nuclear accident at the Fukushima power plant - triggered by a huge tsunami - dominated news headlines last year.
The world's attention has now moved on and much of the country seems to have returned to its original state.
Government spending on reconstruction of the affected areas has so far helped boost economic activity and the country's growth figures.
But are businesses in the North East getting back on their feet?
|May 25||Nagoya Castle structures restored|
|At the Nagoya Castle compound in central Japan, restoration work has been completed on the entrance and reception room of the main residential building for the first time in 70 years. (NHK )|
|May 24||Tokyo cops bust casino in Shibuya|
|Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday raided an Internet casino in Shibuya Ward for offering illegal gambling. (Tokyo Reporter )|
|May 24||WWII vet gets 'Order of the Rising Sun' from Japan's ambassador|
|The government of Japan has bestowed one of that nation's highest honors on a Japanese-American, a former U.S. Soldier and World War II veteran, for his work furthering relationships between the Japanese and Americans. (army.mil )|
|May 23||Osaka court accepts losing horse racing bets as expenses|
|Osaka District Court accepted a claim on Thursday that losses on betting on horse racing should be deductible from payouts to calculate taxable income. (Jiji Press )|
|May 23||Japanese becomes oldest person to conquer Everest|
|Eighty-year-old Yuichiro Miura has become the oldest person to scale Mount Everest, his management office said Thursday. (Japan Times )|
|May 23||Youth arrested for hitting 16-year-old girl with baseball bat|
|An 18-year-old youth has been arrested on a charge of attempted murder after he allegedly hit a 16-year-old girl in the head with a baseball bat. (Japan Today )|
|May 22||X Japan waxes lyrical at Madame Tussauds debut|
|This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )|
|May 22||Transport ministry to unify rules for baby strollers on buses, trains|
|The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has announced that it intends to draw up a set of unified rules for the use of baby strollers on buses and trains. (Japan Today )|
|May 21||Man stabs ex-wife, then crashes car during getaway|
|A man stabbed his ex-wife on a street in Isehara, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Tuesday morning, and then caused a car crash while he was fleeing from the scene. (Japan Today )|
|May 21||Japan Crown Prince to visit Spain|
|Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito will visit Spain for seven days from June 10, the government said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )|