The Nikkei closed down another 1.40% on Thursday night. It's currently the biggest underperformer of the year, beating the main equities index of every other advanced economy.

As of Thursday, the S&P 500 was still in the green for the year, up 2.4% since January. In comparison, Japanese equities were getting smoked, down 9.48% since January, and down 11% in the past three weeks alone.

In terms of the Japanese economy, an April sales-tax hike had a significant impact, and Friday the Financial Times reports that Bank of Japan failed to meet its bond-buying target for the first time in two years, despite a massive quantitative easing program. 

As the chart makes clear, Japanese equities are struggling to get any real traction at all this year. 

Only Germany's DAX, down more than 8% since January, comes close in terms of the world's major advanced economies.

It's not all bad news for Japan's investors. Despite a miserable performance this year, stocks are still riding high in comparison with, say, their 2012 levels. That's because the Nikkei surged by an astonishing 57% in 2013. To put the recent drop in context, here's a longer-term graph: 

See Also:

Warren Buffett Has Begun Dumping Stock In The World's 2nd-Largest RetailerStocks Peaked Just 8 Minutes After The Alibaba IPO: Was It The Very Top Of The Market?Here's What Happened That Caused Greek Markets To Go Back Into Chaos

SEE ALSO: Abenomics Is In Trouble