The Shock Therapist

Japan's economy barely has a pulse. A new guru may have a fix

Heizo Takenaka blows into his small outer office, flying in from the hall with a crew of eager aides in tight echelon. He shakes hands, fires off a roomful of smiles and gestures toward his private office: "Let's talk." Perhaps he needs a moment to return some phone calls, to handle some paperwork? He has, after all, just come from an urgent meeting with new Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. "No." He turns and walks quickly into his tennis court-size office, rattling the orchid pots that sit next to his door. Takenaka-san is in a hurry.

It is the nature of...

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