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Since the financial crisis, a shadow has hovered over the U.S. economy: Japan. Could what happened there happen to us? The bursting of Japan’s real estate and stock bubble in the early 1990s has had lasting consequences: a “lost decade” (actually, two) of meager growth and weak job markets. Though hardly a depression, Japan’s prosperity has been partial and unsatisfying, enjoyed by some and missed by others.

Let it be said that some economists now think Japan could break from this dismal pattern. Here is John Makin of the American Enterprise Institute in a recent commentary: “After many years of false starts, the Japanese economy may finally be set to boom — or at least to enter a period of sustained growth with a sharply rising stock market.”

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