Ex-PM Abe Pushing to Influence Key Economic Policy Guidelines


Tokyo, June 6 (Jiji Press)--Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to influence the government's annual basic economic and fiscal guidelines in the fields of fiscal policy and defense spending.

Fumio Kishida, the incumbent prime minister who took office last October, is being pressured to tweak the so-called "honebuto" guidelines to please Abe, who wields power as the leader of the biggest faction in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and holds influence among conservative LDP lawmakers.

The government plans to adopt the guidelines at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Abe is particularly interested in boosting Japan's defense budget.

Kishida, meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in late May, pledged to "substantially increase" the Japanese government's defense spending. But he avoided clarifying by how much the spending should be raised so as not to strain relations with Komeito, the LDP's coalition partner, which is cautious about rapidly boosting Japan's defense capability.

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Jiji Press