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The decades Japan spent experimenting with massive government borrowing and spending offer the world a cautionary tale.   © Illustration by Chuan Ming Ong
The Big Story

The money pushers: The world is embracing Japan-style economics

While central bankers watch for inflation, the real danger in many countries may be stagnation

MITSURU OBE, Nikkei Staff Writer | Japan

TOKYO -- Until a few days ago, Tokyo had been in the grip of a state of emergency. Throughout the period of restrictions, as always, cavernous wholesale supermarket Gyomu Super in downtown Tokyo bristled with people: Young men pile bulk frozen potatoes into their shopping carts, a bargain at 195 yen ($1.80). Frail seniors scoop up single serves of Chinese noodles or fermented natto beans at 20 cents apiece.

Illuminated by fluorescent light, splashed across the building's unlovely exterior, is the hopeful sign: "Ordinary customers welcome."

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