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Economy

Abenomics: Japan's popular ticking time bomb

Short-sighted policies are only postponing big problems

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

TOKYO -- If Japan was in far better economic shape, this month would have seen the consumption tax pushed up from 8% to 10%. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe thought the timing was premature and decided in June last year to postpone the hike until October 2019.

Abe cited downside risks in the global economy as the reason for the delay. It was the second time he put the plan on hold, after scuttling the increase originally set for October 2015. But his concern was misplaced. Business sentiment is picking up among developed and developing economies for the first time in four years. Japan's unemployment rate is at a 22-year low, declining to 2.8% in February.

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