From the FT:

Japanese business confidence slumps

The survey, carried out over the 30 days leading up to December 13, shows that spirits have sunk further than in June last year, after Japan experienced the triple disasters of an earthquake, tsunami and a nuclear meltdown….

Analysts said the latest Tankan survey – which the central bank considers when formulating monetary policy – will increase expectations of further loosening next Thursday, after the BoJ’s board meeting.

Also – Bllomberg’s take: Japan Tankan Business Confidence Falls to Near 3-Year Low