Japan election puts spotlight on reviving economy
News On Japan via AP -- Dec 13
It's the $6 trillion question: how to jolt Japan out of its 20-year economic slump.
The dozen or so parties vying in a Dec. 16 parliamentary election all agree the world's third-largest economy needs a jump-start, now that it has slid back into recession for the fifth time in 15 years.
They are at odds, however, over how to achieve enduring growth.
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is poised to head the government again if his Liberal Democratic Party does as well most polls are forecasting, favors forcing the central bank to do whatever it takes to meet an inflation target, of perhaps 2 percent, to break the economy out of a spiral of falling prices known as deflation.
Many economists agree.
More than 20 years after its "miracle economy" bubble burst, Japan seems trapped in a vicious circle of sinking prices and weak demand as sluggish growth forces businesses to slash prices and frugal-minded consumers put off spending.
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