Shinzo Abe, the Liberal Democratic Party’s leader, took office as Japan’s new prime minister on December 26, after his party won the parliamentary election in Japan earlier this month.
The Japanese parliament appointed him as the country’s seventh premier in six years and the decision has been voted by both chambers of parliament. Abe is expected to pick a new Cabinet made of his close allies.
Taro Aso is expected to serve as finance minister and also deputy prime minister. Aso is one of Abe’s closest supporters. Fumio Kishida might assume the role of foreign minister, Itsunori Onodera – the one of defence minister and Toshimitsu Motegi might serve as minister of trade and economy. Akira Amari, a former economy minister, is expected to be picked as minister for economic revitalization, according to the international press.
Abe promised to create a “crisis beating government”, putting top priority on overcoming the prolonged economic slump. He warned the Bank of Japan might lose its independence if it does not introduce a two percent inflation target.
Besides trying to defeat the economic crisis, Japan is also struggling to improve its international image amid tensions with China.
But Abe is optimistic. “I got up today with a fresh feeling,” he said, according to Kyodo News. “By drawing on my experience of heading a government, I’d like to run my new government in a stable manner.”