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As if war, COVID-related disruptions and higher material costs weren’t enough, Japan’s retailers now have to contend with a weaker yen that’s raising import prices and forcing them to deal with a phenomenon unseen for the better part of three decades: inflation.

"It’s a double punch,” beer importer Tsutomu Kobayashi said of the sinking currency, adding that his sales have slumped to a third of what they were two years ago. "With the weaker yen, nothing is going well for us.”

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