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Doug Kass: Land of Rising Sun Also Land of Rising Stocks

He’s widely followed for his prowess in timing the market and in a live interview on CNBC's Fast Money strategist Doug Kass says if you have a long-term time horizon, the time to go long Japan is -- now.

You read that right – long Japan.

Yes, we know that Japan has a 218% debt to GDP ratio, an aging population, and it officially slipped into a recession in the first quarter.

Kass knows that too. In fact he concedes that the Japan trade is boring, frustrating and painful but he also says it could possibly make investors a lot of money.

And his thesis for this trade is quite simple; On a valuation basis, the Seabreeze president and CNBC Contributor thinks Japan is cheap.

”One can make the case that on a valuation basis, the Nikkei is as cheap now as the US market was at its generational lower in March 2009,” he says.

Of course, cheap doesn’t really matter unless Japan can get back some of its former mojo and get moving again. But Kass thinks it can. He believes the recent earthquake could provide the very catalyst needed. ”The earthquake could be creative destruction and possibly could kick-start the lethargic Japanese economy,” Kass says.

As an example Kass points to the fiscal stimulus put in place after the quake that he calls “reasonable in scale and timely in policy.”

And Kass sees plenty of potential drivers. “The post recovery future for Japan could accelerate reform such as free trade agreements. It could also accelerate production diversification and more M&A activity and possibly even generate rising demand for alternative energy.”

And Kass is putting his money where his mouth is. He tells Fast Money he’s long EWJ and Nomura.

What do you think? We want to know!

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We know there are two sides to every trade and it appears Dennis Gartman is on the other side of this one. Just one day ago, Gartman told us that Japan was potentially facing serious financial woes – even more serious than those vexing the EU.

Click here to go to Dennis Gartman: Forget EU, Bigger Debt Crisis Brewing Elsewhere


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Trader disclosure: On May 19, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Finerman and Finerman's firm own (AAPL); Finerman and Finerman's firm own (BP); Finerman and Finerman's Firm own (CMI); Finerman's Firm owns (IBM); Finerman owns (C); FInerman owns (JPM); Finerman's Firm owns (JPM) leaps and (JPM); Finerman's Firm owns (TGT); Finerman owns (UNG); Finerman's Firm is short (IWM), (MDY), (SPY); FInermans firm is long S&P Puts, Russell 2000 Puts; Adami owns (AGU); Adami owns (C); Adami owns (GS); Adami owns (MSFT); Adami owns (NUE); Adami owns (BTU); Grasso owns (AKS); Grasso owns (AMD); Grasso owns (ASTM); Grasso owns (BA); Grasso owns (BAC); Grasso owns (C); Grasso owns (D); Grasso owns (HOV); Grasos owns (JPM); Grasso owns (LIT); Grasso owns (LPX); Grasso owns (MHY); Grasso owns (NDAQ); Grasso owns (PFE); Grasso owns (PRST)

For Steve Grasso
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (ABX)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (CSCO)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (CUBA)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (GERN)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (HPQ)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (HSPO)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (MSFT)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (MU)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (NEM)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (NYX)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (PFE)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (PRST)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (SDS)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (XRX)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners are Short (QQQQ)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners are short (AAPL)

For Brian Blair
*No Disclosures

For John Stephenson
John Stephenson and First Asset Management are long corn
John Stephenson and First Asset Management are long CF Industries
John Stephenson and First Asset Management are long Potash Corp
John Stephenson and First Asset Management are long Agrium
John Stephenson and First Asset Management are long Mosaic


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EWJ
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8604.T
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