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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More