The Japanese economy, once the envy of the world, has been struggling to escape the doldrums ever since its “Lost Decade” of the 1990s. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe swept into office in 2012 on promises to revive the economy through a policy that relied on three “arrows”: expansive monetary policy, fiscal stimulus and structural reform. Progress has been slow, but two years of steady growth have revived hopes that Abenomics may finally be bearing fruit. Domestic consumption is increasing, unemployment is the lowest in 23 years and inflation is starting to rise slightly. Yet many economists remain skeptical, pointing to massive government debt and Abe’s lack of progress in pushing through reforms to modernize the country’s labor market and corporate structure.read full report
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Will it keep losing decades?
Japan’s export-driven economy has experienced steady expansion over the past two years, raising hopes that it is shaking off decades of stagnation. (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images)