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Reviving economy is priority No. 1: Abe

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday the new coalition government’s first priority must be to gain public trust by revitalizing the struggling economy.

“Our party bears a heavy responsibility. We must first respond to people’s calls for revitalizing the economy with definite results,” Abe told his Liberal Democratic Party’s first meeting of the year following the LDP’s victory in the House of Representatives election in December.

Abe also said at the party meeting that next summer’s Upper House election will have direct bearing on the question of stable governance, as the LDP and its smaller coalition partner, New Komeito, lack a majority in the chamber.

“Voters have significant expectations of us. This means we will be unable to win the House of Councilors election if we disappoint them,” he said.

Following the party meeting, senior government officials, as well as executives of the LDP and New Komeito, came together to exchange views on a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year and an annual budget for the new fiscal year from April.

In the first joint meeting since the launch of Abe’s government in late December, the attendees also discussed the running of the Diet session set to be convened around month’s end.

“The government will work as one with the ruling parties to tackle various issues,” Abe told the meeting.