Will Japan's Slump Stifle a U.S. Recovery?

Ever so slowly, the U.S. economy is reviving. The most recent sign came last week when the government reported that retail sales surged in January and February by 2.1% and 1.3% respectively -- the first back-to-back increases of more than 1% since 1985.

But will the stall in Japan spell trouble for the fragile American economy? Last year American companies shipped $48.1 billion worth of goods to Japan, making it the second largest U.S. export market. A recession in Japan could hurt the recovery by slowing demand for American products. In addition, Japanese businesses could try to bolster sagging domestic profits...