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Japan-Update

Japan must boost inward investment, or lose global clout

Companies and regions should increase ties with the rest of the world

| Japan

For Japanese above a certain age, the phrase "trade war" -- that has suddenly become all the rage -- brings flashbacks of 1980s, when trade conflicts between Japan and U.S. were at their most intense.

As a Tokyo pre-teen then cramming for middle school entrance examinations, I recall memorizing a popular foreign moniker for Japan -- "economic animal." It was coined, we were told, by our friends around the world as a criticism of our political weakness and a sort of compliment to our industrial strength.

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