Fears over recession are again stalking markets, but many investors and analysts are more worried about a deeper, more structural shift: that the world economy is succumbing to a phenomenon dubbed “Japanification”.

Japanification, or Japanisation, is the term economists use to describe the country’s nearly 30-year battle against deflation and anaemic growth, characterised by extraordinary but ineffective monetary stimulus propelling bond yields lower even as debt burdens balloon.

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