The Sun Also Sets

Currency woes and aging industries slow down Japan's growth

The bad news just keeps coming. A leading shipbuilder announces that nearly 40% of its workers will be laid off, and those who keep their jobs will have to take 10% salary cuts and a 50% slash in their usual year-end bonuses. Thousands of steelworkers are idle, as mammoth steel furnaces stand silent. Coal mines are closing, and even some automobile assembly lines are shut down.

These could be snapshots of the American Rust Belt, but in fact the bleak pictures are from Japan. The mighty industrial power of Asia is now reeling from its worst performance in more than ten...

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