BOJ only took halting steps, they never went all in. Now they are doing it for real directly targeting inflation and immediately aiming to double the money supply. Even though it may now be too late. Basically, they're taking a page out of the Bernanke playbook and then some.
Going 'all Weimar' isn't a solution when you've spent the last two decades severely distorting interest rates (and thereby investment) and pushing government debt to the stratosphere.
I read his playbook back in 2002 and have protected savings accordingly from his inclinations. The price of gold has quadrupled since he advised the Japanese to print their way to prosperity.
"Like gold, U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation." - Ben Bernanke, November 21, 2002
Ultimately, Bernanke confuses rising prices with rising wealth.
The old BOJ leadership believed that the problem was fundamentally demographic and couldn't be solved by monetary policy. They may even have been right about this, but the proposition was never fully tested.
Again, listen to the piece by Kyle Bass. He touches on the fact the country is shrinking, that their population base is very aged (now selling more adult diapers than toddler diapers). Printing money can't change this, in fact it merely robs the savers, and those who rely on the interest rates to provide their income. They're shooting themselves in both feet.
And really, what are the alternatives? Austerity? The experiments in Europe along these lines are not at all encouraging.
Since when is living within one's means 'austere'? Europe certainly hasn't tried that yet (except Estonia, who has actually cut spending (not just the rate of growth) and seen a much better rebound than the rest of the bloc), nor the U.S. for that matter. U.S. employment still hasn't recovered, and if bench marking labor participation to pre-recession levels our unemployment rate remains over 11%. I'd hardly call the policy that boasts that a success.
We need to take a page out of the Harding/Coolidge book. Those two dealt with a much more severe recession, and by reducing instead of increasing the government's burden on capital made sure you never heard of the Depression of 1920-1.
I suggest we try capitalism, a system of profit and loss, that by its very nature moves capital from wealth destroying activities (and actors) toward wealth building activities (and actors). The political efforts to obviate the loss portion of the system (which is just as important to its proper functioning) by fobbing it onto taxpayers is the prime cause of our extended difficulties. This also means we have to stop manipulating interest rates, that economic actors may better judge the underlying realities of supply and demand. I'm not holding my breath that this will happen, but I can hold the store of value that protects me from this policy to some degree.