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How Japan's PM could use Son's 'soft power'

The country's richest man could help revamp Abenomics

| Japan
SoftBank Chairman and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son attends a news conference in Tokyo on Feb. 8.   © Reuters

In the land of baseball bunts and chronic caution, Masayoshi Son is that rare Japanese business magnate who swings for the fences again and again -- and often to great effect.

Take his spectacular investment in 2000 in a then-obscure Chinese dreamer named Jack Ma. The $20 million he gambled on Alibaba netted him $50 billion in 2014, when Ma took his internet juggernaut public. They do not call Son "Japan's answer to Warren Buffett" for nothing. Since then, the country's richest man has been busily investing in future Alibabas. But it is about more than just padding out his fortune.

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