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While Monday marked nine years since the Bank of Japan began its unprecedented stretch of massive monetary easing, discussions about a possible normalization of policy remain off the table even as the U.S. Federal Reserve and European central banks are starting monetary tightening to rein in inflation.

At the same time, traditional concerns about a strong yen among bureaucrats, politicians and business people are now being replaced by fears of a “bad weakening of the yen,” which reflects gaps between Japanese and foreign interest rates and leads to higher prices for crude oil and other imported goods.

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