Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tried to turn the national discourse away from his unpopular security legislation to the economy, saying he will seek to expand it by about one-fifth.
“Creating a strong economy will continue to be my top priority,” Abe said during a news conference Thursday at the headquarters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, where he was officially appointed to another three-year term as party leader.
Abe said he aims to increase the size of Japan’s economy to 600 trillion yen (US$5 trillion), from about 490 trillion yen in the latest fiscal year, The Wall Street Journal reported.
He didn’t say exactly how or when that growth would be achieved.
Abe’s new target was met with skepticism among economists, given the spotty growth seen during his tenure.
Gross domestic product contracted 1.6 percent during the second quarter, and economists expect weak growth during the current quarter.
They point out that the new goal could be seen as a repackaging of long-standing annual targets of 2 percent real growth and 2 percent inflation over the next five years.
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