World Economy

Abe Promises to Boost Economy

Abe Promises to Boost Economy
Abe Promises to Boost Economy

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began an upper house election campaign on Wednesday with a pledge to rev-up the economy as surveys showed his ruling bloc ahead, despite doubts over Abe’s growth recipe and his push to revise the pacifist constitution.

Abe’s coalition is in no danger of losing power in the election but he needs a solid win to keep his Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers in line and perhaps stay on another three years after his tenure as LDP president expires in 2018, Yonhap reported.

Abe is casting the July 10 election for half the seats in the 242-member chamber as a referendum on his decision to delay a planned hike in an unpopular sales tax and his “Abenomics” recipe of hyper-easy monetary policy, spending and reform.

“This is an election to decide whether we will forge ahead strongly with economic policies, make Japan grow, the regions proper and everyone feel the benefits—or return to a dark and stagnant era,” Abe told a crowd in Kumamoto, southern Japan.

The area was hit by a deadly earthquake in April and this week has been battered by heavy rains, leaving at least six people dead.

The opposition Democratic Party is arguing that Abenomics has increased social disparities and attacking Abe’s long-held goal of revising the postwar constitution.

“We must stop Abe’s runaway politics,” Democratic Party leader Katsuya Okada told voters in Yamanashi, central Japan.

“Abenomics is not working out well and Abe’s security policies are not popular. You’d think he’d be vulnerable,” said Jeffrey Kingston, director of Asia studies at Temple University’s Japan campus.