Bet on aging plays
Avoiding exporters isn't Weindling's only non-consensus call. While many cite Japan's aging demographics as a potential headwind for the economy, Weindling likes plays on that theme.
"The beauty of that as an investment theme is it is so long term and so certain. It's certain the population will fall and the number of old people will increase," he said, suggesting plays on health care and adult diapers.
In addition, he sees value in staffing companies, not only because wages are expected to rise, boosting their profits, but also on the difficulty many sectors are facing finding workers with the country's unemployment rate around 4 percent.
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To be sure, not everyone is negative on the exporters. While agreeing that many of the consumer electronics exporters, such as camera makers, face structural headwinds, "don't short these names," said Ben Collett, head of Asian equities at Sunrise Brokers.
"Blanket selling the exporters is a very risky trade," he added. He noted comments from Honda over the weekend that it would raise wages if it reached profitability targets. Wage increases are seen as a key plank in the success of Abenomics, as they are needed to drive domestic consumption.
"They need growth on the bottom line. The easiest way is to weaken the yen," Collett said, noting he expects the currency to continue to depreciate, which is likely to push up the exporters' shares.
(Read more: HSBC strategist: Am I the last person in the world underweight Japan?)
In addition, he noted the structural theme may have played out already.
"Even though the camera makers will underperform other exporters, the theme isn't new and the price in Canon isn't high," he said, adding the stock is seeing some short-covering.
Even Weindling isn't entirely negative on the exporters, just very selective. He likes factory automation exporters, noting with China's wages rising, companies will need to either move production or automate, a segment where Japan's companies have a clear leadership position.
—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter @LeslieShaffer1