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Abe to Support Growth Via 2017 Budget

Shinzo AbeShinzo Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday the government must strive to support the economy in compiling the next fiscal year’s budget, even as it pursues fiscal reform.

He also said the Bank of Japan’s new policy framework adopted in September, which targets interest rates rather than the pace of money printing, has been functioning smoothly, Reuters reported.

Abe made the remarks at a meeting of the government’s top economic council.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Taro Aso said that Japan will need to respond to currency market moves if results of the US presidential election cause a sudden spike in the yen.

Aso made the remarks when asked about market speculation that the safe-haven currency could spike if Republican nominee Donald Trump won the presidential race due on Nov. 8.

“I won’t comment on results of other country’s elections. But if it were to affect currencies, we would need to watch and respond, as stability in currencies is always important,” Aso told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

In July, Shinzo Abe showed himself to be one of post-war Japan’s most successful and powerful politicians, as the prime minister of Japan once again claimed victory in the country’s upper house parliamentary elections.

The Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partners received 70 of 121 available seats in the 242-seat chamber, giving Abe’s party, alongside its coalition partners and other independent politicians, a two-thirds parliamentary majority.

While much international focus has been on how this will give Abe the lawful majority to amend aspects of Japan’s constitution, many observers have noted how the election was fought primarily on economic grounds.

Abe has also proven himself to be one of modern Japan’s most resilient prime ministers. While not yet the country’s longest serving prime minister, he has proven himself to be a greater source of stability than many other incumbents in recent years. Since 2007, Japan has had six different prime ministers, with the rotating premiership widely perceived to have added to Japan’s inability to adequately deal with its economic difficulties.

Abe has gained support from far-reaching segments of Japanese society, and for a number of reasons: his successful bid to change Japan’s constitution, with the intention of weakening its pacifist elements, has led to sharp divisions among Japanese citizens, yet his tenure as leader of the country is closely tied to his promises of economic reform. His plans and actions for reviving the sluggish Japanese economy have come to be known as Abenomics.

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