2012-11-18 —

``Fiscal belt-tightening was a bad idea back then, especially as the central bank had just prematurely ended its five-year-old quantitative easing programme. With the BOJ playing spoilsport even now, Abe will hopefully not repeat the mistake of preaching the austerity mantra at the wrong time. Consumer demand is already at risk as a result of the planned doubling of the sales tax that conservatives like Koji Omi, Abe's finance minister in 2006, have for long advocated as a step toward fiscal rectitude.''

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