Commentary: Japan's Weird Coupon Scheme

My Japanese in-laws, neighbors, and barber have a lot to talk about these days. There was the dark-horse team from Okinawa that entranced the entire baseball-mad country by becoming the first from its prefecture to win the 71-year-old national high school invitational tournament. An attempted incursion into Japanese waters by two North Korean spy ships also grabbed headlines. Yet Topic No. 1 has been Tokyo's weird attempt to stimulate consumption and snap Japan out of recession by issuing the equivalent of gift certificates.

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