As inflation in the euro zone languishes at its lowest level in four years, some analysts argue that the region is at risk of a Japan-style deflationary rut.
In October, the euro zone's inflation reading came in at 0.7 percent on year, down from September's 1.1 percent and a four-year low. Core consumer prices in Japan, which include oil but strip out volatile food prices, rose 0.7 percent in year to September with a broader measure rising 1.1 percent.
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Japan, the world's third biggest economy, has been plagued by deflation for almost two decades and inflation has only recently started to edge higher following aggressive monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan.
Worries over low inflation levels prompted the European Central Bank to cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points on Thursday.
"Policymakers in Europe are pressured to act because they do not want Europe to become the next Japan," said Kathy Lien, managing director of foreign exchange strategy for BK Asset Management.
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"With consumer price growth slowing and producer prices in negative territory, deflation is becoming a growing risk for the euro zone," she added.
The euro zone economy has showed signs of picking up this year after it posted 0.3 percent growth in the second quarter, emerging from its longest recession in 40 years.
But according to Lien, ongoing sluggish growth, particularly in peripheral economies, has made deflation a serious risk. The euro zone's peripheral economies include Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal, for example.
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Martin Schulz, a senior economist at the Fujitsu Research Institute, added: "After the financial crisis [in Japan], banks had to restructure and cut assets, reducing credit to corporations, which affected their balance sheets negatively. Corporations had to cut costs and restructure."
"When corporations have to cut costs simultaneously they create deflation from the real side of the economy. This is what is happening in Europe's South, and it's what the ECB has to fight," he said.