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Economic Fixes, Defense Reforms Top Japan Prime Minister Abe's Agenda

Image: Economic Fixes, Defense Reforms Top Japan Prime Minister Abe's Agenda

By    |   Wednesday, 16 Oct 2013 07:06 AM

The Japanese Diet opened a new session Tuesday, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) enjoying comfortable majorities in both chambers following a sweeping upper-house election victory in July elections, the Japan Times reported.

In his keynote policy speech kicking off the 53-day session, Abe focused on issues that included strengthening the Japanese military and building infrastructure projects in the disaster-hit Tohoku region — in particular the Fukushima Prefecture, site of the 2011 nuclear meltdown crisis at a local reactor.
 
Abe’s government also plans deregulation to encourage more business investment and  creation of  several special economic zones to attract foreign firms.
           
But the prime minister’s economic ideas have drawn criticism that they are just rehashed versions of failed growth strategies put forward by past Japanese governments.He has provided few details thus far.

According to Japan Today, Abe also pledged to push forward with plans to bolster Japan’s national defense in an increasingly insecure environment.

“As global interdependency deepens, Japan can no longer protect its own peace without fulfilling its responsibility to global peace and stability,” said Abe.

He said that while the country should be proud to have been a pacifist nation after World War II, a more realistic approach to defense policy is necessary today, with Japan facing security challenges ranging from an increasingly aggressive China to pirate attacks on Indian Ocean shipping.

To achieve this, Abe seeks to establish a security council within his office that will function as a defense command and diplomatic center. He also seeks to reinterpret Article 9 of the nation’s pacifist constitution to allow Japanese troops to fight when the nation’s allies are attacked.
 
“We must act now in order to protect peace into the future,” he said.
 
 
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The Japanese Diet opened a new session Tuesday, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) enjoying comfortable majorities in both chambers following a sweeping upper-house election victory in July elections, the Japan Times reported.
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2013-06-16
Wednesday, 16 Oct 2013 07:06 AM
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