Abe focuses on economic measures, keeps coalition

Abe focuses on economic measures, keeps coalition

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe got down to work on Monday to launch his third Cabinet, following the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito's resounding victory in Sunday's House of Representatives election.

Abe, who also serves as president of the LDP, met with Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi on Monday afternoon and they signed an agreement to maintain the LDP-Komeito coalition government.

"Under the strong ruling coalition [with Komeito], we'll push ahead with policies," Abe said at a press conference at the LDP headquarters on Monday afternoon.

Abe also reiterated that he will focus on economic measures. "[In the election], we heard the voice of the people that we should push ahead with Abenomics," he said. He expressed the intention to compile economic measures by the end of this year and said, "We'll continue to give top priority to the economy and bring the warm winds of economic recovery all over the country."

Abe also said the government will have a meeting with labour and management organisations Tuesday during which he will request that the business community raise wages next year.

As for security legislation to allow limited exercise of the right of collective self-defence, Abe said, "We'll submit relevant bills at an appropriate time during the special Diet session next year and enact them."

When the special Diet session convenes on Dec. 24, a vote will be held to appoint Abe as prime minister. Later on that day, Abe will launch his third Cabinet. Abe plans to retain all the current Cabinet ministers in their posts.

At around noon on Monday, Abe met with LDP executives at party headquarters. He said he would keep LDP Secretary General Sadakazu Tanigaki and other top executives in their current posts.

"I'll continue to carefully handle the government," Abe said during the meeting. "I'd like to speedily draw up basic policies for a supplementary budget, economic measures and next fiscal year's budget, so please compile them by the end of this year."

Abe held talks with Yamaguchi at the Diet from 1 pm.

Meanwhile, the secretaries general and Diet affairs committee chairmen of the LDP and Komeito held a meeting at the Diet on Monday afternoon. They agreed to convene the special Diet session from Dec. 24 to Dec. 26.

Tanigaki said he wants to thoroughly follow the old saying: Stay on guard even after a victory. "We'll handle the government sincerely and need to ensure careful discussions in the Diet, a place where consensus is made," Komeito Secretary General Yoshihisa Inoue said.

Abe reportedly plans to retain all the Cabinet ministers of his reshuffled second Cabinet in his third Cabinet because only three months have passed since the last Cabinet reshuffle. Abe also wants to minimise a possible adverse impact on budget compilation.

He will focus on drawing up economic measures to deal with a sharp decline of the yen and stagnant consumption as well as compiling a budget for fiscal 2015.

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