Japan PM favourite to push 'unlimited' easing
TOKYO (AFP) - The frontrunner to become Japan's next prime minister unofficially kicked off his election campaign on Thursday by vowing to pressure the central bank to carry out "unlimited" easing to kickstart the economy.
Mr Shinzo Abe, a former prime minister, also said that if his opposition Liberal Democratic Party wins next month's general election he may boost defence spending amid a bitter territorial row with China.
In a speech in Tokyo, he promised to strike an agreement with the Bank of Japan (BOJ) that would see it usher in more stimulus to spur growth and push inflation towards 2 to 3 per cent, dragging it out of a deflationary spiral that has haunted the economy for years.
"Only by implementing unlimited easing to achieve this target will the market show reaction," Mr Abe said a day after a senior official in Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) confirmed a national poll for Dec 16.