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Abe promises new dawn for Japan

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 - 01:33

Jan 22 - Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, fleshes out a reform programme he says will bring a 'new dawn' to Japan, in a speech to an audience at Davos. And - in a reference to the dispute with China over islands in the East China Sea - calls for respect for the rule of law guaranteeing freedom of movement and peace. David Pollard reports

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The man behind Abenomics has faced criticism over the pace of reform in Japan. But prime minister Shinzo Abe told an audience in Davos that a new dawn was breaking. Time for reforms. SOUNDBITE, SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (English), saying: "People have long said that such a thing is just impossible. And yet, last Autumn, we actually decided to make all these changes.'' Abe's injected trillions of yen into the economy. But the IMF has warned without serious structural change more trillions might be needed to boost growth. His answer to that: reforms of the energy market, agriculture and building restrictions. A review of the government's massive pension fund and more working women. SOUNDBITE, SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (English), saying: "Japan's corporate culture is still one of pinstripes and button downs ... By 2020, we will make 30% of leading positions to be occupied by women.'' The speech was largely as expected. Except for a sting in its tail - over Japan's spat with China over a group of tiny, uninhabited East China Sea islands. SOUNDBITE, SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (English), saying: "If peace and stability were shaken in Asia, the knock-on effect for the entire world would be enormous.'' Japan has, he said, sworn an oath never again to wage war - but adding that trust, not tension, was crucial for peace.

Abe promises new dawn for Japan

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 - 01:33

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