• Kyodo


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday signaled his determination to overcome Japan’s persistent deflation in a prerecorded video message shown at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“We will promptly put into action measures that can pull Japan out of its long years of deflation,” said Abe, who took office late last month after his Liberal Democratic Party swept the Dec. 16 general election.

In response to criticism that his administration has exerted extraordinary pressure on the Bank of Japan to implement bolder monetary easing, Abe said the central bank’s independence is guaranteed by law, although he added that it is nonetheless possible for government and the BOJ to share policies.

Abe also cited the opening last year of Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest free-standing tower, and the Nobel Prize jointly awarded to Kyoto University professor Shinya Yamanaka for his development of induced pluripotent stem cells as examples of Japan’s technological prowess.

Touching on the hostage crisis in Algeria, Abe called the struggle against terrorism a “common challenge” for the international community and said Japan will forge ahead with efforts to seek countermeasures.