Prime Minister Shinzo Abe correctly identified some of the essential problems that Japan must resolve if it wishes to recover from economic crises that have seen it falling from being the world's second most powerful economy toward middling power status.

Then with waves of his magic wand, he virtually solved them: he will raise the economy by 20 percent; he will transform agriculture into a powerhouse via the Trans-Pacific Partnership; he will increase economic dynamism by giving women a greater role, taking 30 percent of management positions; he will boost Japan's fertility rate so that its population stabilizes at 100 million.

If only: Perhaps Abe should now retire a hero and let someone take over who can work out how to achieve the policy prescriptions, far more difficult than making promises.