A Shinto shrine dancer momentarily pauses for effect in Kamakura, Japan, and with the Nikkei at a three-decade high, punters should be dancing with joy too. Photo: Tom Coyner

Amid the wreckage of Japan’s 2020 comes a tantalizing hint that the year ahead could be an altogether healthier one: stocks are ending this year at levels not seen since April 1991 – 30-year highs.

True, the correlation between equity valuations and the real economy, always tenuous, seems to be weakening as Covid-19 risks intensify. Look no further than the disconnect between a Dow Jones Industrial Average up 7% this year and a US economy flirting with 1929, 20 million coronavirus infections and complete legislative gridlock.

Yet in Japan’s case, investors might not be as irrationally exuberant as those betting on solid profits for corporate America.