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Although the benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average is struggling to get back to the 12,000 level, Tokyo stocks are hardly weak these days.

After falling to a low of 9,420.85 on Feb. 6, a level unseen since Dec. 14, 1983, the Tokyo market raised its upside to 11,919 in March and 11,979 in May.

Even the downside is rising.

It is therefore fair to say the market is ascending at a pace of two steps upward and one step downward.

In the nearest term, however, Tokyo stocks have been going through moderate adjustments since the start of June.

This, as many market participants say, is due to falling U.S. stocks.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average is now below 9,500, suffering a plunge of 10 percent after hitting a high only in March.

But Japanese stocks’ tendency to follow U.S. stocks should be reconsidered with greater scrutiny.

U.S. stocks have fallen 30 percent over the past 2 1/2 years, compared with their ceiling in January 2000.

In contrast, the Tokyo stock market has plummeted 75 percent in the 12 years since setting a record high in late 1989.

Given those differences and the yen’s recent strength, there are few reasons to justify purchases of U.S. stocks. Japanese stocks are much better buys.

Investors should adhere to this basic view or they will fail to follow the future trend of Japanese stocks.

What is the outlook for Japanese stocks?

Improvements in economic indexes, including industrial production, inventories and shipments, show that the domestic economy is starting to bottom out.

The recovery is expected to become more apparent by stages.

Especially noticeable is a rise in commodity prices. The Nikkei index of 17 commodity prices has already climbed 14 percent since it hit bottom in September.

Attention should be paid to the fact that commodity prices, which foretell economic trends, are rising despite the yen’s appreciation.

When economic activity begins a recovery, stock prices are considered to be at an initial stage of normal ascent.

Investors should assume a bullish stance on stocks under those circumstances.

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