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Is it time to bet on Japan? Add to ...

And speaking of contrarians (as I did in my previous post), here's an interesting call from Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture: Bet on Japan, or at least think about betting on Japan.

Japan, of course, is arguably the top contrarian call that anyone can make these days. The country's benchmark Nikkei 225 is among the few global indexes to head into the close of the year with a loss. As well, the index is still down more than 40 per cent from its 2007 high - and it's hard to fathom how far away it is from its bubbly 1989 high (more than 70 per cent).

Still, this dismal track record is where Mr. Ritholtz starts his list of 10 reasons to think about Japan: "Everyone hates Japan as an investment - widely disliked for its bad demographics, aging population, ongoing MULTI-DECADE recession."

His reason No. 3 is also contrarian: "Institutionally and on Main Street, Japan is VERY under-owned."

But there's more to his thinking. For one, he points out that the iShares MSCI Japan exchange traded fund has been showing a nice uptrend, which makes it look good from a technical perspective.

The country is well positioned, too. An improving global economy will drive its exports higher. And, it's proximity to China is a bonus.

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