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More Japanese blue chips embracing leveraged growth

Historically low interest rates drive record interest-bearing debt load

SoftBank's acquisition of ARM was one of the slew of big deals in 2016 that helped drive corporate debt higher.

TOKYO -- Large Japanese enterprises facing a shrinking domestic market are turning to interest-bearing debt at record levels, using the historically cheap funding to finance overseas acquisitions and labor-saving investments.

But for smaller businesses, dwindling demand at home has left them wary of taking on additional debt.

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