So it’s official. Or so the officials say. The Japanese government’s latest monthly report on the state of the economy proudly announces that recovery is now steadily in progress.

On the face of it, the official announcement does not look too far off the mark. Corporate sentiment is improving, profits look better, share prices are holding up, and even business investment appears to have found a steadily upward mobile path. Yet look a little bit deeper and the murkiness of the waters becomes immediately apparent.

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