Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, has a golden opportunity to alter the country’s course for the better. His administration is enjoying a rare stability, with the opposition in disarray and his party in control of both houses of parliament. Abe’s economic policies, known as “Abenomics”, aim to lift Japan out of its decades-long deflationary spiral. The first two “arrows” of Abenomics, monetary easing and fiscal stimulus, have been launched, but the third “arrow”, structural reform, is still in the quiver.

Structural reform is crucial for Japan’s economic revival. It includes deregulating the agricultural sector, liberalising the labour market, and encouraging more women and elderly people into the workforce. Despite the importance, Abe’s government has been slow to implement these reforms, due to resistance from vested interests.

Abe also plans to reinterpret the constitution to allow Japan’s Self-Defence Forces to come to the aid of allies under attack. This move, though controversial, is seen as necessary given the increasing threats from North Korea and China. Critics argue this could lead to Japan being dragged into America’s wars. Despite the opposition, Abe’s government is determined to push through with its plans.

Abe’s leadership is crucial in this pivotal period for Japan. His decisions will shape the country’s economic and security future. It’s a daunting task, but if anyone can do it, it’s Abe. His success or failure will have profound implications for Japan and the world.

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