With uncertainty hanging over prospects for the U.S. economy, Japan, despite recent signs of bottoming out, may face difficulties achieving a full-scale recovery, according to a business school dean at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"Japan has traditionally recovered by strong exports-led growth. It's not clear whether global demand drives that now," Richard Schmalensee, dean of MIT's Sloan School of Management, said recently in an interview with The Japan Times.

A sluggish U.S. economy would slow growth in the rest of the world, including Europe and Japan, Schmalensee said. The professor of management and economics was visiting Tokyo last week as part of an Asian tour.