Japan’s Nikkei stock index leapt by 57% last year, but so far this year it has been one of the developed world’s worst performers. It lost around 10% in the first quarter.
Foreign investors, who account for most of the market’s trading volume, have been unnerved both by events abroad and by this week’s increase in Japan’s consumption tax.
This tax, equivalent to VAT, was last raised in 1997. It is now going up from 5% to 8%. The idea is to raise an extra 1% of GDP in taxes, and start making a dent in Japan’s annual overspend – [...]
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