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Economy

William Pesek: Japan's Prime Minister Abe needs a bigger reform push

For Abenomics to succeed in the long run, it must empower people

Abenomics has helped Japan's economy perk up, but structural reforms have been slow in coming.

The growth spurt lifting Shinzo Abe's fortunes is as tantalizing as it is familiar. The last time Japan grew for five consecutive quarters was in 2006, back when Abe was starting his first stint as prime minister. Imagine for a moment what might have been if he had implemented his revival program 11 years ago. Consider where the third-biggest economy might be if Abe loosened labor markets, catalyzed entrepreneurship, slashed trade tariffs, empowered women and deregulated industry the first time around. Might Japan still be No. 2, rather than ceding that position to China?

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