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JAPAN BUSINESS LEADERS HAIL ABE, HOPE FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Japanese business leaders on Friday hailed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics" economic policy for pulling the economy out of a recession through aggressive monetary easing, fiscal spending and deregulation, Mainichi Shimbun reported on August 29, 2020.

"The Abenomics economic policy has enhanced Japan's presence in the international community along with his foreign policy...and strengthened security policies," said Hiroaki Nakanishi, chief of the Japan Business Federation known as Keidanren.


The benchmark Nikkei Stock Index was around 8,000 when Abe took office in December 2012 and now stands at around 23,000. The Bank of Japan introduced an ultra-easy monetary policy in April 2013 to attain a 2 percent inflation target under the Abenomics policy mix. The monetary easing weakened the yen, helping Japanese exporters regain competitiveness in global markets. A weaker yen lifts profits earned abroad when repatriated and strengthens the price competitiveness of Japanese-made products overseas.


"I would like to pay tribute to (Abe's) leadership in achieving economic growth, a consumption tax hike and the successful invitation of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games," Kengo Sakurada, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, said in a statement. As part of the Abe government efforts to improve Japan's fiscal health, the consumption tax was raised twice during his second term, initially from 5 percent to 8 percent in April 2014 and then to 10 percent in Oct. 2019. Tokyo was selected in 2013 as the host city of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, which were postponed by one year due to the virus outbreak. Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said he hopes the new prime minister will make utmost efforts to help the country through a difficult time as the global economy continues to face the virus pandemic.


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