Hawkish lawmaker Abe to be Japan PM

The lower house of Japan's parliament approved Shinzo Abe as prime minister on Wednesday, giving the hawkish lawmaker a second chance at the top job as the country battles deflation and confronts a rising China.

Abe, 58, has promised ag monetary easing by the Bank of Japan and big fiscal spending by the debt-laden government to slay deflation and weaken the yen to make Japanese exports more competitive.

The grandson of a former prime minister, Abe has staged a stunning comeback five years after abruptly resigning as premier in the wake of a one-year term troubled partly by scandals in his cabinet and public outrage over lost pension records.

His Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) surged back to power in this month's election, three years after a crushing defeat at the hands of the novice Democratic Party of Japan.

“I want to learn from the experience of my previous administration, including the setbacks, and aim for a stable government,” Abe told reporters before the lower house voted him in as Japan's seventh prime minister in six years.

Abe looks set to pick a cabinet of close allies leavened by some LDP rivals to fend off the criticism of cronyism that dogged his first administration.

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