Commentary: Japan: This Time, It Could Get Nasty

For much of the past decade, the cycle has been the same: Predictions that Japan's lumbering economy has finally turned the corner slam into a brick wall after a few quarters. Rather than reach for bold solutions, Tokyo's mandarins assemble a massive fiscal-stimulus package to keep corporations and banks afloat. Meanwhile, producers of everything from cars to consumer electronics set their sights on healthy overseas markets and crank up the export machine. That keeps employment up and fills coffers enough to keep the yen from tanking.

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