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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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 Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid