The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Dec 21, 2012
 

Japan's new cabinet likely to be long on loyalty, short on reform

 
 

TOKYO (Reuters) - Incoming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet looks likely to be heavy on close allies, with a few party rivals added to fend off criticism of cronyism, but few see signs that the line-up will produce creative reform policies.

Mr Abe, who will be voted in as prime minister on Wednesday following his conservative Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) sweeping election win, has made clear his top priority is to slay deflation with a huge dose of monetary easing and spending.

To assist with that task, the 58-year-old Abe, who served as premier from 2006-2007, will tap former prime minister Taro Aso as finance minister and ex-trade minister Akira Amari for a new "Economic Revival" portfolio, Japanese media reported this week.

Both are close allies who share Mr Abe's affection for reflationary policies, including heavy pressure on the Bank of Japan to take more drastic action to beat deflation.