Japan’s parliament confirmed Shinzo Abe as prime minister today, giving him the opportunity to become the longest-serving premier in four decades.
After last week’s sweeping election win, Abe is in a position to push ahead in 2015 with reflationary policies to reboot an economy that has slipped into recession. He will also seek to pass a raft of bills to toughen the country’s defense stance, while trying to build on signs of a tentative rapprochement with neighbors China and South Korea in a year that marks the 70th anniversary of Japan’s World War II defeat.
“Abe’s government needs to deliver on the promises they made in the context of bilateral alliance management with the United States,” said Yuki Tatsumi, senior associate at the Stimson Center inWashington. The legislative package should be submitted no later than late spring as the two countries are completing revisions to bilateral defense guidelines, she said.
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