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Lost decades of Japan all due to labour rigidity

While lifetime employment made the nation an economic powerhouse, it also prevented companies from getting rid of any excesses built up during a bubble.

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The lesson from Japan's inability to emerge from its multi-decade economic doldrums could be one that is socially and politically unpalatable to many countries.

DESPITE all the hype and enthusiasm surrounding Abenomics' three arrows, there appears to be little change in the Japanese economy's growth trajectory since Shinzo Abe took office at the end of 2012. Japan recorded its fifth technical recession this year, defined as two consecutive quarters of