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The Japanese have a saying — “sandome no shoujiki.” Roughly translated it means that “after getting it wrong twice you finally get it right the third time.”

Two previous Japanese administrations — Hashimoto (1996-98) and Koizumi (2001-06) — set out to revive the economy through promises to cut government borrowing and spending. Twice the result was disaster — an economy in tatters, ballooning official debt and an urgent need to increase government spending to stave off recession. Will the new Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) administration finally get it right this time round?

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