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Japan to Speed Economic Measures, TPP  09/26 06:13

   TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Monday to 
accelerate his mix of policies to prop up Japan's economic recovery and speed 
up parliamentary approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

   In his policy statement opening the 66-day parliamentary session, Abe 
outlined an extra set of stimulus measures to help the economic recovery and 
spur more consumer and corporate spending. He aims to push through a 
supplementary budget to implement some of the measures as part of a larger 
package.

   Abe reiterated that the global economy faces "major risks" such as 
uncertainty over Britain's exit from the European Union and the slowdown of 
emerging economies including China, stressing the need to accelerate his 
Abenomics policy mix of fiscal stimulus and structural reforms.

   "We'll further accelerate Abenomics and maximize the pace of moving out of 
deflation," he said.

   Abe said the TPP is a key part of his growth policies, though he did not set 
a specific deadline for parliamentary approval of the trade pact, apparently 
amid uncertainty ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November. He only 
hinted at a timing of TPP approval sometime later this year.

   "An early entry into force of the TPP will be a big chance and we will aim 
to quickly achieve a 1 trillion yen ($10 billion) target (of annual 
agricultural exports)," Abe said.

   He said he seeks to reach a basic economic partnership agreement with the 
European Union by the end of December, a target that Japan has previously set.

   Abe highlighted the economy in his address, while touching on his 
long-cherished but divisive political goal of revising Japan's U.S. 
occupation-era constitution. He urged a national debate as a step to gain 
support for a revision, but mentioned the constitution only briefly at the end 
of his speech.


(KA)

 
 
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