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Lokicious, you have it right on. Japan is frozen with inaction. To take action means real pain (higher unemployment, higher bank bail-out cost on an already over-stetched budget deficit, higher taxes (and the tax burden is already too high). Higher taxes hurt demand and demand is already too low. When Japan is not in the public eye, they go about business as if everything is okay, but if the stock market declines too much or if international banks demand a premium for funds lent to Japanese banks, the politicians wake-up but only issue measures to get the public eye off of Japan. It really is a house of cards, in my opinion. You move one card and all comes tumbling down. The politicians know that and are careful either (1) not to move the card or (2) move the card very slowly to prevent a topple. In Japan's case, they have been moving the card slowing back and forth for 10-years now. There hope is that consumer confidence and consumer spending will miraculously improve. But it has not. But even if it does improve, it will be cut off again because taxes are going to have to rise to pay for the stimulus spending over the past 10-years, a lot of which has gone to the construction companies, even today. Absent a miracle, I really don't see a way out for this country until they bit the bullet. Torobravo2003
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