“Japan’s best days are behind it,” or so the common wisdom goes, and by reading Tokyo-based academic Jeff Kingston’s latest work, it is easy to see why.

Burdened by its debt, deflation and demographics, the sun appears to be setting on a country that just 20 years ago was on the cusp of global economic supremacy. With the “lost decade” of the 1990s apparently continuing, Japan looks to be fading away while regional rivals such as China shine.

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