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article imagePM Shinzo Abe listed in Time's Top 100 most Influential People

By Karen Graham     Apr 25, 2014 in Politics
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that if Japan wanted to let the world know it was making an economic comeback, electing Shinzo Abe as Prime Minister was the right move. After fighting his way back from a serious illness in 2007, he has changed Japan.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan was named to Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2014 on Thursday, along with U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Other notable members of Time's elite group included Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew authored the article on Abe for Time Magazine, and in it Lew outlined Abe's comeback in 2012 after a devastating illness in 2007 caused him to withdraw from public office after only 365 days. His successful comeback into the political arena, and his push for economic recovery after years of fiscal doldrums "have given the country reason to believe a lasting recovery is finally in sight."
The Prime Minister's set of economic policies, known as "Abenomics," were designed to increase consumer spending, helping to drive the economy and turn around deflation. Lew anchored the success of the policies on structural reforms and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Abe has been adamant in his desire to protect Japanese businesses.
Abe has expressed his desire to strengthen relations with the Southeast Asian region, politically and economically. He has visited the Philippines, India and Indonesia. While wanting the support of China, relationships remain strained between the two countries because of the Senkaku Islands dispute and Abe's visits to Yasukuni shrine. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between Japan, the United States, Australia and India was initiated by Abe, not only as a security and trade alliance, but to counteract China's growing presence in the region.
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