Abe taps ex-PM Taro Aso as finance minister

TOKYO Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:59am EST

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TOKYO (Reuters) - New Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday appointed Taro Aso, a veteran lawmaker and former premier, as finance minister to help push his policies of drastic monetary easing and big spending to beat deflation and tame the strong yen.

As prime minister in 2008-2009, Aso, now 72, launched massive economic stimulus packages to combat fallout from the global financial crisis, but his efforts were overshadowed by gaffes, scandals and policy flip-flops that culminated with his Liberal Democratic Party losing power after more than half a century of almost uninterrupted rule.

(Reporting by Linda Sieg; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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