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New Mountain Day holiday seen giving US$8b boost to Japan economy

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Snow Peak Inc, which makes titanium stoves and other camping equipment,says Japan's expanding outdoor-venturing population will drive earnings growth for the company. Sales this year could exceed the 9.5 billion yen it forecast in May.

Tokyo

AS Japanese prepare to head for the hills on Thursday for their inaugural Mountain Day holiday, retailers and tourism operators are gearing up for an US$8 billion windfall.

They're counting on customers such as schoolteacher Ayako Kobayashi, 33, who spent more than US$700 on