The Tokyo stock market remains in a deep slump.

With the end of the business year drawing near, the market is looking for clues as to how the government intends to help shore up share prices.

A makeshift rescue will serve no one’s interest, and efforts to keep stocks afloat artificially will no doubt undermine the process of allowing market forces to run their course.

Such measures would prompt foreign investors, the biggest driving force now accounting for more than 40 percent of daily trading, to retreat to the sidelines.

The time has come for policymakers to seriously consider painstaking reform measures that they have long hesitated to carry out.

Now that many negative factors have largely been factored into the economy and the market, further deterioration appears unlikely.

The government now can easily enlist public support for drastic structural reforms, as people are beginning to realize that stopgap measures won’t work to get the economy back on track.

It’s time to push sweeping tax reforms and entice individual investors to move in.

Domestic individual investors have sufficient means to help the market restore its long-term health without depending on foreign investors.

Unless the government quickly carries out drastic measures now, the nation will head into another lost decade.

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