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Japanese who joined the workforce after the bubble face bleak prospects, since the corporate ladder is crowded with colleagues 10 years older. (© Illustration by Luis Mendo)
Asia Insight

'Lost generation' haunts Japan, Abe and the BOJ

Workers frozen out in the 1990s now lack the spending power the economy needs

AKANE OKUTSU and AKIHIDE ANZAI, Nikkei staff writers | Japan

TOKYO -- When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was re-elected head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party last month, he made a familiar pledge. His government, he said, would finally beat the deflation that has plagued the country for decades.

New threats, like the escalating U.S.-China trade war, will make that old battle even more difficult to win. But if Abe fails, it may be because the economy's fate was sealed long before he became prime minister, when Japan "lost" a generation of workers who ought to be driving the economy today.

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