Abe aims for free trade as third policy to boost Japan’s growth

Ben Southwood
Follow Ben
JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday decided to try to open up trade links with the US as part of his campaign to boost his country’s flagging economy.

He said he would join US-led talks as the third arrow of measures in his so-called policy quiver to tackle deflation and add to Japanese growth – the first two being stimulus spending and massive monetary intervention.

But to open up his country’s economy he will have to battle powerful interests in the farming lobby, who traditionally support his centre-right Liberal Democratic Party.

Analysts signalled confidence in his resolve to overcome resistance on freeing up Japanese enterprise – Nomura raised its target for the Nikkei index to 14,500, from 12,500, on hopes the trade deal – called the Trans-Pacific Partnership – would succeed. This suggests the index will grow 28 per cent over its current level.