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Nightmare 2040: Japan's lost generation

Grim future faces numerous elderly with little or no means of financial support

TOKYO -- Takeshi Erikawa, 72, has held many prominent positions in Japan's central government, earning him recognition as a "great bureaucrat."

One thing that bothers the retired civil servant lately is the problem of Japan's employment "ice age," when companies sharply reduced the number of high school and college graduates they recruited between 1993 and 2004 after the bubble economy collapsed.

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