Japanese companies' cash holdings rose to a record last quarter,highlighting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's struggle to spur theinvestment and wage increases needed to end a 15-year deflationarymalaise.

Corporate holdings of cash and deposits rose to 224 trillion yen($2.15 trillion), up 5.9 percent from a year earlier, according toa Bank of Japan report released yesterday.

The yen's 17 percent slide against the dollar this year hasboosted exporters' profits, contributing to a cash pile similar insize to Russia's gross domestic product. As Abe campaigns toreflate the world's third-biggest economy, he's relying on companyspending to drive a longer-term recovery once the jolt from fiscaland monetary stimulus wears off.

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