Japan's Abe says determined to push through labour reforms

LONDON Thu May 1, 2014 5:16pm EDT

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to the media at his official residence after Japan and the U.S. issued a joint statement in Tokyo April 25, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to the media at his official residence after Japan and the U.S. issued a joint statement in Tokyo April 25, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

LONDON (Reuters) - Japan must raise productivity through labour market reforms in order to grow its economy at a time when population is declining, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in London on Thursday.

"Japan's population is declining. In order to grow, we must raise productivity ... We need to reform labour regulation in order to make working conditions more flexible," Abe said, in an answer to a question by Bank of England Deputy Governor Andrew Bailey.

"Over the past year we've realised how difficult it has been to do so. But we cannot grow without labour reforms. We are determined to make that happen," he told business leaders.

(Reporting by Natsuko Waki and William James)

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