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Japan’s yield-hungry investors are helping turn companies that were once bond-market pariahs into stars.

Olympus Corp., the medical equipment maker that came under fire six years ago for a cover-up of losses, this month sold its first bond to the public since 1996, to strong investor demand. Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. issued its first 10-year notes since before the Fukushima nuclear crisis. Debt of Japan Airlines Co., which emerged from bankruptcy in 2011, now outperforms bonds of domestic rival ANA Holdings Inc.

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