• Kyodo


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went home Monday to Yamaguchi Prefecture to whip up support from his base, telling them he plans to win the Upper House election this summer and underscored the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“In order to achieve results, we need a stable basis. We have to win the Upper House election,” Abe told a meeting of his supporters in Shimonoseki.

He said the TPP free trade deal, which was broadly agreed to in October by 12 nations accounting for 40 percent of the world economy, will bring a “significant chance for Japan.”

While expected to help boost exports, the trade liberalization deal will also likely expose Japanese farmers to fierce competition with cheaper imports, sparking criticism of the government in rural areas where agriculture is a key industry.

Abe arrived in his home district Sunday and attended meetings with supporters, during which he said he will continue pushing his economic stimulus policy.

He also indicated he will step up unilateral sanctions against North Korea following its fourth nuclear test last week.

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