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Will Shinzo Abe 2.0 remain aggressive?

(People's Daily Online)

15:48, January 24, 2013

Key Words:Shinzo Abe;seven years;lineage;hawk;overbearingness;aggressive;

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Japan's central bank finally bowed to pressure from the Abe government, and set a 2 percent inflation target for the first time on Jan. 22. The bank also announced that it will launch an open-ended monetary easing policy by buying huge amounts of yen assets each month starting 2014.

Apart from the economy, Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also shown his aggressiveness in other fields. He has launched the preemptive "strategic diplomacy," made active efforts to modify the National Defense Program Guidelines, and adopted a tough stance on the Diaoyu Islands dispute, which was quite different from what he appeared during his first term as prime minister several years ago. Is Abe really updated to a brand-new 2.0 version?

Great changes in seven years

With a handsome appearance and distinguished lineage, Abe was regarded as a rising political star when first elected prime minister in 2006.

Seven years later, Abe has made a series of astonishing moves, and launched a radical and overbearing economic program. The radicalness lies in a total planned stimulus package of 20 trillion yen, and the overbearingness lies in the government's tough interference in central bank's independence. Abe even threatened to dismiss the head of the central bank. Chen Zilei, director of the Japanese Economy Research Center under Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade, noted that Japan's central bank had long maintained the tradition of independence in implementing monetary policy, and this was the first time the prime minister threatened the head of the central bank, interfered with the bank's affairs, and damaged its independence.

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