(Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, brushing aside suggestions that a low turnout tarnished his coalition’s election win, vowed on Monday to stick to his reflationary economic policies, tackle painful structural reforms and pursue his muscular security stance.
But doubts persist as to whether Abe, who now has a shot to become a rare long-lasting leader in Japan, can engineer sustainable growth with his “Abenomics” recipe of hyper-easy monetary policy, government spending and promises of deregulation.
“We heard the voice of the people saying ‘Move forward with Abenomics’,” Abe told a news conference at his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) headquarters, adorned with giant posters of the premier and his campaign slogan “This is the only path”.
“I want to boldly implement the ‘Three Arrows’,” Abe said, adding he would compile stimulus steps before the year’s end and ask business leaders to boost wages, which have not kept pace with rises in consumer prices.
The LDP and its junior partner, the Komeito party, won 326 seats in Sunday’s poll to maintain a two-thirds “super-majority” that smoothes parliamentary business.
That was unchanged from the coalition tally before the poll, although the LDP itself slipped slightly to 291 seats from 295.
Many voters, doubtful of both the premier’s “Abenomics” strategy to end deflation and generate growth and the opposition’s ability to do any better, stayed at home.