New Japanese prime minister promises quick action on economy

Featured Japan - December 27th, 2012
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Shinzo Abe, who was voted into the house of representatives as prime minister of Japan on Wednesday, ten days after a national election, has promised to overcome the deep-rooted economic and diplomatic crises facing his country.

“A strong economy is the source of energy for Japan. Without regaining a strong economy, there is no future for Japan,” Abe told his first news conference after becoming prime minister for the second time. He previously led the country in 2006/7 for just one year before resigning, citing health issues.

With a hawkish stance on security matters with China and other disputes in the region near the top of his to-do list, and with his vision for the Conservative LDP moving to the right, he has also vowed to strengthen ties with the US.

“With the strength of my entire cabinet, I will implement bold monetary policy, flexible fiscal policy and a growth strategy that encourages private investment, and with these three policy pillars, achieve results,” Abe, Japan’s seventh prime minister in six year, also said.

His critics say, however, that there should be more focus on reform and that underestimating the significance of an ageing, shrinking population and a social welfare system in crisis could be his downfall.