Awakening giant?

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Sluggish performance in Japan has been part of the global economic landscape for over 15 years. Those under 35 years old have known nothing else during their adult lives. Fear of outright deflation has been the central obsession of Japanese economic policy. Even quantitative easing, essentially Milton Friedman's classic prescription for countering a deflationary contraction by force-feeding growth in the monetary base, has had little effect.

Japan's protracted struggle just to avoid an

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