In Japan, Politics Propels a Stock Market Rally

Investors hope the latest stimulus will reignite the economy
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answers questions during a lower house budget committee session at Parliament in Tokyo Photograph by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images

“Let’s do it,” Yoshihiko Noda, Japan’s prime minister, said Nov. 14, during a political debate with his opponent Shinzo Abe. Noda meant that it was time to dissolve parliament and hold a new election. Investors heard it as the kickoff to a rally that hasn’t stopped, with the Nikkei 225 stock index gaining more than 50 percent and returning the market to levels not seen since before the 2008 financial crisis. The Nikkei’s best performer since Nov. 14, with a 194 percent gain through April 10, is Tokyo Tatemono, a real estate developer. Nomura, the $445 billion financial-services company, has advanced 146 percent.

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