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Young Japanese bureaucrats drop a bombshell on old habits

Blunt report urges an end to 'silver democracy' and 'GDP supremacy'

Young officials at Japan's industry ministry

TOKYO -- Around 30 up-and-coming Japanese bureaucrats have touched a nerve with a report critiquing the country's rigid social structures and institutional malaise.

The 65-page document, titled "Anxious individuals, nation at a standstill," was compiled in May by officials from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, following a series of study sessions dating back to last summer. The team has won praise for provoking debate -- as well as criticism for overstepping their bounds.

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