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Retailers relaxed, ready for Japan's tax hike

TOKYO -- Japan's consumption tax hike is just around the corner and inflation is in the air. But many of the country's retailers are confident they can maintain their recoveries and avoid another post-hike hangover.

     Consumer electronics stores have been packed with people doing a bit of last-minute shopping before April 1, when the tax rate will rise to 8% from the current 5%. Demand is growing so strong that supply cannot keep pace. At one shop in Tokyo, a customer who had just bought a laptop computer was told it would not be delivered for at least three months.

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