Please exlain the meaning of the sentence in bold in the following paragraph: " In the 1980's, Bangkok seemed alsmost like a Japanese colony. Everywhere you went, people looked either to the United States or to Japan. The Japanese took themselves out of the reckoning when their economy tanked in the 1990's. And the prception of China began to change around the same time when the mainland embraced capitalism and US multinational corporations."
The Japanese did not have much of a profile in Bangkok after their economy went wrong in the 1990s.