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Regarding the Feb. 17 editorial “Downward risks for Japan’s economy“: This is another “emperor’s new clothes” fairy tale from the Japanese government. The Japanese economy (nominal GDP) really grew, according to the government’s own report, at 1.2 percent per annum. The fantasy 3.7 percent is called real GDP, adjusted for deflation. No one can buy or sell this GDP. Japan may have produced more goods and services, but it had to be sold at lower prices than previously.

So the average citizen in Japan is right. If the economy is so good, why don’t they see or feel it? The answer is that the market value of Japanese production is falling while the rest of world is experiencing increasing output and rising prices. Like some commodity-based Third World economy, the Japanese are becoming poorer, not richer, as the increasing volume of commodities they produce falls in price, a fact that recent, comparative per capita GDP figures prove.

william schrade