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Stocks back in the limelight in Japan

It shows that firms prefer equity capital to bank financing.

BLOOM TIME FOR MARKETS: A Tokyo businessman looking at an electronic stock quotation board, as cherry blossoms bloom, outside a brokerage in Tokyo on Thursday.

THE wait is almost over for Japanese investors who've spent 25 years marking time as the stock market worked its way back from the crash of 1989.

It's not that the Topix index or Nikkei 225 Stock Average are back at their highs - they're at least 44 per cent below their bubble-era peaks.

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