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Thirty-year high for Tokyo condo prices hides bad economic news

Shinzo Abe's stimulus has boosted cost of housing, not level of wages

| Japan
Real estate companies are focusing on selling units in central city locales near train stations.   © NurPhoto/Getty Images

The last thing Shinzo Abe wants to see in the public discourse right now is talk about 1990. That was the year Japan's bubble economy imploded, unleashing fallout with which officials in Tokyo are still grappling.

Yet the news that condo prices in the Tokyo region have returned to their highest level in 30 years is sure to have economists looking for parallels with 1990 -- and buzzing about a fresh round of irrational exuberance in asset prices. The jump in flat prices in Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures to about $547,000 makes little sense, economically speaking.

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