After the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) achieved a sweeping win in the December 16th general elections, party leader Shinzo Abe will be officially named prime minister later on Wednesday afternoon. This will be the second term as Japan’s premier for the 58 year old, having already served as prime minister for one year starting in 2006. In becoming the country’s seventh leader in a little over six years, Abe will be replacing Yoshihiko Noda, of the now unpopular Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), whose cabinet resigned early Wednesday morning.
Abe’s party won the election based on its pledges to take a tougher diplomatic stance, especially in Japan’s recent territorial disputes with China and South Korea, as well as turn around the country’s sagging economy. The LDP chief has repeatedly put pressure on the Bank of Japan to further ease its monetary policy. Looking to trigger inflation, Abe has now outright threatened the national bank’s independence if it doesn’t bend to his will.
While the new prime minister is in a hurry to draft a budget extension, he is also expected to formally announce his own cabinet lineup on Wednesday as well. Abe has been seen as seeking out other senior party members and close former associates to fill the key positions. One of the more prominent includes former prime minister Taro Aso, 72, as finance minister. Aso was another Japanese premier that took a quick spin the through revolving door of leaders in recent years. The new justice minister is predicted to be Sadakazu Tanigaki, who served as the LDP’s leader until a few months ago, when Abe took over.[via Euro News]