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Once seen as panacea for Japan's economic ills, the weaker yen is sapping households' purchasing power through higher prices for imported goods.

Weaker yen pinches household budgets in Japan

From clothing to smartphones, rising import prices mean lower living standards

TAKERO MINAMI, RYO SAEKI and KAZUYA MANABE, Nikkei staff writers | Japan

TOKYO -- The yen has been weakening of late, recovering only slightly after hitting a five-year low of 116 against the dollar in early January.

And whereas a weaker yen has long been seen as a boon for the Japanese economy, helping drive the country's export machine and bringing in wealth, an anemic currency is now more curse than blessing.

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