Asia & Pacific

Unexpected Recession Worries Young Japanese

In this Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 photo, Mai Yamaguchi, a 29-year-old trading company employee heading into the gaudy Shibuya shopping area for an outing with her 4-month-old son and two other young moms and babies, poses for a portrait at a scramble crossing in Shibuya in Tokyo. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s choice last week to postpone a sales tax hike to help fend off recession comes less as a relief than as cause for greater concern over how the country will cope with its ballooning national debt. Yamaguchi was unimpressed by Abe’s decision. “I’m grateful to Mr. Abe for his policies to improve childcare, but putting off the tax increase, well, they say the pension system is on the verge of bankruptcy. I think it would have been better to go ahead and raise the tax as planned,” said Yamaguchi. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
In this Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 photo, Mai Yamaguchi, a 29-year-old trading company employee heading into the gaudy Shibuya shopping area for an outing with her 4-month-old son and two other young moms and babies, poses for a portrait at a scramble crossing in Shibuya in Tokyo. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s choice last week to postpone a sales tax hike to help fend off recession comes less as a relief than as cause for greater concern over how the country will cope with its ballooning national debt. Yamaguchi was unimpressed by Abe’s decision. “I’m grateful to Mr. Abe for his policies to improve childcare, but putting off the tax increase, well, they say the pension system is on the verge of bankruptcy. I think it would have been better to go ahead and raise the tax as planned,” said Yamaguchi. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO—When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe responded to Japan’s surprise recession by delaying a sales-tax increase, it was a cause for worry, not celebration, for many...




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