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Abe to Give Posts to Stimulus, Nuclear Advocates via The Wall Street Journal

TOKYO—Incoming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will likely form an old-boy economic team led by fiscal stimulus and nuclear energy proponents, in the latest sign the conservative leader aims to put the outgoing administration’s debt reduction steps on the back burner in favor of pump-priming measures.

When Mr. Abe forms his cabinet next week after officially becoming premier, he is widely expected to offer the key finance minister post to Taro Aso, a former prime minister famous for making controversial remarks. Mr. Aso is also well known for turning to aggressive fiscal stimulus during his time in office which saw the 2008-09 global financial crisis and at one point in his tenure launched a program that almost indiscriminately handed out cash to residents.
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Along with Mr. Aso, the incoming prime minister will likely tap the policy head of the Liberal Democratic Party and longtime ally, Akira Amari, to fill in a new ministerial post responsible for guiding overall economic policy discussions. Mr. Amari held the trade minister’s portfolio when Mr. Abe was last prime minister from 2006-2007.

One of the LDP’s leading energy experts, Mr. Amari has defended Japan’s reliance on nuclear plants, even after the March 2011 earthquake triggered the nation’s worst nuclear crisis. A one-time employee at Sony Corp., 6758.TO -1.63% Mr. Amari represents the voices of corporate Japan that worry that a shift away from nuclear energy could result in sharp rises in electricity costs due to fuel imports and damage Japan’s growth potential.

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