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Has Japan peaked? Has its political, economic and cultural influence passed its zenith? For Brad Glosserman, a former member of the editorial board of this newspaper, the answer, alas, is yes.

This state of affairs was not inevitable. Although Japan’s postwar economic model was spectacularly successful, by the early 2000s, it had clearly run its course. The heady growth of yesteryear was replaced by a long list of debilitating socioeconomic ills that continue to hobble the country’s potential today: Persistent deflation, a ballooning debt, political instability — 17 prime ministers in the past 30 years — to say nothing of a graying and shrinking population. The list goes on.

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