Japan's new prime minister hopes to weaken yen

Japan's newly elected prime minister, Shinzo Abe, points to a journalist during a press conference in Tokyo on December 17, 2012.

Japan has its seventh prime minister in six years after the country's Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide victory in elections over the weekend.

Shinzo Abe will return to power, having promised to jump-start Japan's struggling economy, which has slipped back into recession. The BBC's Rupert Wingfield Hayes in Tokyo says Abe ran on a platform of re-invigorating Japan's economy through quantitative easing.

"He wants the Bank of Japan to print lots and lots of money. Essentially unlimited amounts until inflation gets back into the Japanese economy and the yen is weakened so that Japanese exporters can export at a profitable rate."

Though whether Abe will be able to achieve this goal is uncertain. The Bank of Japan is independent and its governor has already indicated he is not planning on following Abe's proposed approach.

About the author

Rupert Wingfield-Hayes is a reporter with the BBC based in Japan.

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