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William Pesek

Japan Needs to Think Different

Billions in government bond-buying haven't shocked the Japanese economy into life. Here's a better idea: Pay citizens to shop.
Want Japanese to shop? Give them money.

Want Japanese to shop? Give them money.

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

In April 2013, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda first vowed that his team would "do whatever it can" to end deflation. Many were quick to equate the pledge with Mario Draghi's "whatever it takes" promise at the European Central Bank. On Oct. 31, Kuroda backed up his words, dramatically increasing the central bank's bond purchases to about $700 billion annually. Markets were thrilled.