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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls a snap election for December during a press conference at his official residence in Tokyo, Nov. 18, 2014 (AP photo by Shizuo Kambayashi).

Japan’s Abe Risks Elections to Seek Mandate on Economic Policies

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014

Having returned political stability to Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today called snap elections for next month to secure a verdict on his already implemented economic policies, dubbed “Abenomics,” as well as a mandate to continue applying his strategies to expand the economy. The general elections, scheduled for mid-December, will come roughly two years after Abe was elected in a sweeping victory in December 2012. His current tenure, Abe’s second as prime minister, has been defined mainly by his efforts to jumpstart Japan’s long-beleaguered economy, focusing on a “three-arrow approach” to restore growth and confidence through increased stimulus, quantitative easing and structural reform.

Abe’s impressive political rebirth in 2012, after quitting the prime minister’s office in 2007 amid scandal and a personal illness, also marked a return to power of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The party has controlled Japanese politics for all of the post-World War II period aside from a few short interludes, including the two-and-a-half-year reign by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) from June 2010 until Abe’s most recent election. ...

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