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Japan's department stores mount a precarious recovery

First-half sales rose, but growth rests on unstable tourist demand

Customers checking out cosmetics at a Takashimaya in Osaka.

TOKYO -- Japanese department store earnings are beginning to bottom out thanks to spending by foreign visitors, but such a model is not sustainable, casting doubt over the recovery's longevity.

Both J. Front Retailing and Takashimaya announced profit increases Tuesday for the half ended August after originally forecasting declines.

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