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Monetary medicine in Japan is keeping the economy alive, but with nasty side effects. The search for a new cure should begin with a simple question: What if the Bank of Japan were to throw out its money-printing presses?

Instead of pushing more yen into an economy that has already absorbed a threefold increase in cheap central-bank funds in five years without any sign of the much-awaited 2 percent inflation, maybe it’s time to abolish cash altogether.

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