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Japan’s Abe sets out reform agenda

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe pledged Monday to push on with painful reforms aimed at fixing Japan’s economic woes after voters handed him a handsome majority in upper house polls.

world Updated: Jul 23, 2013 01:36 IST

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe pledged Monday to push on with painful reforms aimed at fixing Japan’s economic woes after voters handed him a handsome majority in upper house polls.

Abe said victory for his Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner New Komeito was vindication of his economic policy blitz mixing big stimulus and aggressive monetary easing.

“We appealed to voters in this election that we will press forward with economic policies. They back our position after we said this is the way to go and nothing else,” he said.

The landslide victory means both legislative chambers are now under government control until at least 2016, unblocking the bottleneck that has hampered legislation for the last six short-term premiers.

It allows Abe to push through painful structural reforms. Abe said he would speed up decision-making and policy implementation, attempting to dispel speculation that he might shy away from reforming the labour market and removing trade barriers.

Economists are still divided over the merits of Abe’s project, dubbed “Abenomics”, which comes at the expense of even more state borrowing at a time when government debt already stands at more than twice the size of the Japanese economy.