Epidemic Shatters Abenomics, Making Structural Reforms Urgent

Politics Economy

Tokyo, Aug. 23 (Jiji Press)--While Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to become the country's longest continuously serving head of government, his signature economic policy, dubbed Abenomics, is rapidly losing momentum in the face of the novel coronavirus crisis, prompting calls for stepped-up structural reforms to achieve an economic turnaround.

The reflationary policy mix, comprising the "three arrows" of monetary easing, fiscal spending and growth strategy, was launched after Abe returned to the post of prime minister in late December 2012.

Abenomics has led the yen to weaken, helping increase corporate earnings and raise stock prices, but the Abe government has yet to achieve its target of overcoming the country's prolonged deflation.

On Monday, Abe is set to become the longest continuously serving prime minister in Japan, staying in office for 2,799 days in a row. Abe will pass his great-uncle, Eisaku Sato, who served as prime minister for 2,798 straight days between Nov. 9, 1964, and July 7, 1972.

Under the rule of the then Democratic Party of Japan, which lasted about three years from late September 2009, the yen spiked to historic highs, and the benchmark 225-issue Nikkei stock average had remained below the key threshold of 10,000 until just before the launch of the second Abe administration, creating a sense of stagnation across the nation.

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