Can anything rescue Japan from the abyss?

“Shunto” season has failed to grip Japan.

Translating as “spring wage offensive”, Shunto marks the annual Japanese ritual of wage bargaining between business groups and labour unions.

This year’s negotiations have been preceded by months of feverish lobbying from prime minister Shinzo Abe who has urged the country’s business groups to raise wages and help smash Japan’s deflationary mindset once and for all.

Olivier Blanchard, the former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and Adam Posen, a former Bank of England policymaker, have called for an unprecedented 10pc increase in nominal wages in 2016. In the last two years, average wages have risen by just 1pc.

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