News / Asia

Abe Named New Japanese Prime Minister

Japan's Liberal Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe bows after being named Japan's new prime minister during the plenary session at the lower house of Parliament in Tokyo, December 26, 2012.
Japan's Liberal Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe bows after being named Japan's new prime minister during the plenary session at the lower house of Parliament in Tokyo, December 26, 2012.
— ​Japan has a new prime minister. The Diet (parliament) on Wednesday selected Shinzo Abe to again lead the country after his Liberal Democratic Party scored a solid comeback in elections this month. That ends a three-year stay in power for the Democratic Party of Japan.

Shinzo Abe

  • 1954    Born in Tokyo, grandson of former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi
  • 1977    Graduated from Seikei University
  • 1993    Elected for the first time to parliament
  • 2003    Became secretary-general of Liberal Democratic Party
  • 2005    Appointed chief cabinet secretary
  • 2006    Became prime minister, stepped down in 2007
  • 2012    Elected LDP leader in September, confirmed as prime minister in December
 Abe said his top priorities are to overcome the country's economic and diplomatic crises.

At his initial news conference,  following his selection by lawmakers to lead Japan, Abe lamented that any country that gives up on economic growth has no future.

 Abe said he wants to achieve results as soon as possible to earn the public's trust and avoid the fate of many of his predecessors who could barely last one year in office.

Shinzo Abe succeeds Yoshihiko Noda whose fate was sealed after the DPJ lost its control of the lower house in elections earlier this month.

Japan's newly-named Prime Minsiter Shinzo Abe smiles as he waves at the media upon his arrival at the prime minister's official residence following his election at Parliament in Tokyo, December 26, 2012.Japan's newly-named Prime Minsiter Shinzo Abe smiles as he waves at the media upon his arrival at the prime minister's official residence following his election at Parliament in Tokyo, December 26, 2012.
x
Japan's newly-named Prime Minsiter Shinzo Abe smiles as he waves at the media upon his arrival at the prime minister's official residence following his election at Parliament in Tokyo, December 26, 2012.
Japan's newly-named Prime Minsiter Shinzo Abe smiles as he waves at the media upon his arrival at the prime minister's official residence following his election at Parliament in Tokyo, December 26, 2012.
It is a stunning comeback for Abe, a third-generation politician, who suddenly resigned as prime minister five years ago amid declining popularity.

Abe said medication is effectively treating the inflammatory bowel disease that compelled him to step aside just short of one year in office in 2007.

There were five prime ministers in between Abe's previous departure and his return to the post.

The Democrat Party of Japan came to power three years ago, amid a prolonged economic decline, after the electorate voted out the scandal-ridden LDP which has governed the country for most of the period since World War II.

Speaking to reporters, Abe emphasized that a closer alliance with the United States is key to stable diplomacy for Japan.

Abe's return is being viewed cautiously in East Asia. That is due to his tough talk regarding Japan's worsening territorial disputes with its neighbors, his desire to strengthen Japan's defense forces and unapologetic views on the country's harsh, 20th century colonization of part of China and the whole of the Korean peninsula.

China's foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, told reporters that Beijing is willing to make joint efforts with Tokyo “to promote healthy and stable development of Sino-Japan relations.”

Hua said China hopes “Japan can stick to the path of peaceful development and play a constructive role in maintaining peace and stability of the region.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet

  • Finance Minister Taro Aso - 72, was prime minister until 2009
  • Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida - 55, former banker was in charged of territorial issues previous Abe government
  • Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera - 52, has held key posts in defense, foreign affairs and fisheries
  • Economic Revitalization Minister Akira Amari - 63, was trade and industry minister in previous Abe government
  • Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi - 57, former financial services minister
Abe's key Cabinet appointments are giving some clues to the direction he plans to take.

His new defense minister is Itsunori Onodera, who favors stronger security ties with the United States.

Fumio Kishida is the new foreign minister. He has previous Cabinet experience dealing with Okinawa where there is widespread discontent over the long-stalled relocation of a U.S. Marine Corps air station.

To help push through a $120 billion public works and other emergency stimulus spending plan, Abe has selected former prime minister Taro Aso as finance minister. Aso will also serve as deputy prime minister.

  • New Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (front C) and his cabinet ministers pose for a photo after their first cabinet meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, December 26, 2012.
  • Liberal Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe bows after being named Japan's new prime minister at the lower house of Parliament in Tokyo, December 26, 2012.
  • Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2nd R) receives a certificate from Emperor Akihito (L) as former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (2nd L) watches, during a ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, December 26, 2012.
  • Incoming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe casts a vote at the Lower House of the Parliament in Tokyo, December 26, 2012.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
December 30, 2012 10:26 PM
Thanks Prime minister Shinzo Abe on your desire to strengthen defense forces and a closer alliance with the USA and Japan.


by: Anonymous
December 26, 2012 11:31 PM


relationship beweteen China and Japan will be tense again

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid