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Japan Leader Urges Swift Action From Central Bank
Reuters | January 28, 2013 | 12:34 AM EST

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, vowing to overcome what he called an economic crisis facing the nation, urged the Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Monday to hit its inflation target as soon as possible, keeping up pressure on the central bank to make good its promise of bolder action to overcome deflation.

In his first policy speech to parliament since returning to office last month, Abe - in a clear reference to a feud with China - also promised to "firmly protect" Japan's lands, seas and air space while strengthening ties with the United States.

Abe has made reviving the stagnant economy with a mix of hyper-easy monetary policy and fiscal spending his top priority since his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) returned to power with a huge election win in December. The push is helping him gain support from more than two-thirds of Japanese voters after one month in office, a Nikkei business daily poll showed on Monday.

Last week, bowing to intense government pressure, the BOJ doubled its inflation target to 2 percent , made an open-ended commitment to buy assets, and issued a joint statement with the government promising to meet the price goal at the earliest possible time.

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