Breaking the Japanese impasse

An article published on 19 June last year on Bloomberg opened with the following two sentences: "Bank of Japan deputy governor Toshiro Muto is the most likely candidate to become governor when Toshihiko Fukui's five-year term ends next March. Muto will head the central bank in the world's second-largest economy, according to all 15 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News."

Indeed in June last year the choice of Muto as a successor to Fukui appeared to be so obvious that issue was hardly open to de