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Traders on the floor of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1992   © Getty Images

Don't let the rally fool you -- Japan Inc. has a lot of work to do

For faster growth, companies must embrace the innovation seen at the Facebooks and Amazons

MAKOTO KAJIWARA, Nikkei commentator | Japan

TOKYO -- Share prices in Tokyo are at a 26-year high, and Akiyoshi Oba, chairman of the Japan Investment Advisers Association, is annoyed. It's not the rising prices themselves that has him irked but rather the excitement over something he feels should have happened long ago. "The problem is that it took 26 long years to recover to this level," he said, echoing the lament of many investors.

For Japan, the past two and a half decades are called "lost" for good reason. While the country struggled to recover from the collapse of its bubble economy and the deflation that followed, the rest of the world was racing ahead.

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