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Japan just needs ‘little turn’ by consumer: Nomura

All the Japanese economy needs to take off is a small shift in U.S. consumer sentiment, according to Jeremy Bennett, chief executive of Nomura International, the Europe, Middle East and Africa wing of the Japanese bank.

"We don't need some massive U.S.(style) consumer boom. We just need a little turn in sentiment," he told CNBC.

Japan's economy is loaded with the heaviest public debt burden in the developed world, although Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to slash debt through his "Abenomics" plan. The economy has also been hampered by slowing growth, and is predicted to expand by 1.2 percent this year, below the average for developed economies, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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Nomura has been one of the key beneficiaries of an improved picture in Japan, although its profits fell in the first quarter of 2014, for the first time in nearly two years.

"Abenomics has helped us, and internationally our investment banking business is doing well," Bennett said.

Tomohiro Ohsumi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"We had a cracking year last year, in Japan and internationally."

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One factor which could stymie Japan's recovery is continued strength of the yen against the dollar. The yen is often viewed as a safe haven asset during times like the ongoing Ukrainian crisis. There are unlikely to be any dramatic moves in the dollar/yen for the next few months, Bennett argued.

He added that the bank is still committed to its fixed-income and currencies trading, at a time when rivals are trimming their equivalent divisions.

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"The demise of FICC has been slightly overplayed. This is a huge part of the market and is going to be around for a long time," according to Bennett.

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