Japan's Abe set for second term, to tap allies for cabinet

By REUTERS
December 26, 2012 03:10

 
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TOKYO - Shinzo Abe will be voted in as prime minister by parliament's lower house on Wednesday, giving the hawkish lawmaker a second chance at Japan's top job as the country battles deflation and confronts a rising China.

Abe, 58, whose party surged back to power in this month's election, has promised a two-pronged policy of aggressive monetary easing by the Bank of Japan and big fiscal spending by the debt-laden government to slay deflation and rein in the strong yen that makes Japanese exports more costly.

The grandson of a former prime minister, Abe has staged a stunning comeback five years after abruptly resigning as premier in the wake of a one-year term troubled by scandals in his cabinet, public outrage over lost pension records and a devastating defeat for his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in a 2007 upper house poll.

Abe looks set to pick a slate of close allies leavened by some LDP rivals to fend off the criticism of cronyism that dogged his first administration. Parliament meets from 1 p.m. (0400 GMT).

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