Aso named Japan's next finance chief as Abe primes fiscal pump
News On Japan via Bloomberg -- Dec 27
Taro Aso, son of a cement magnate and a champion of pork-barrel spending when prime minister, became Japan's sixth finance chief in three years, auguring expanded fiscal stimulus in the world's third-largest economy.
Aso, 72, will also serve as deputy prime minister and financial services minister in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in Tokyo yesterday. Fumio Kishida is foreign minister, while Akira Amari was named economy minister.
The finance minister's first task will be to deliver on his party's pledge of a "large-scale" supplementary budget to stimulate the economy, which is forecast to shrink for a third straight quarter. At issue will be averting any sell-off in the bond market as the nation grapples with debt in excess of twice the size of gross domestic product and as Aso calls for a new plan to restore fiscal health.
Police in Niihama, Ehime Prefecture, are investigating the mutilation deaths of three cats whose bodies were left in a park. Two were found dead in February, and the third was found on Saturday. (Japan Today )
Banging on drums and waving "Sayonara nukes" signs, thousands of people rallied in a Tokyo park and marched to Parliament on Sunday to demand an end to nuclear power ahead of the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. (scmp.com )
Fewer than 40 pct of residents and commuters in Tokyo take specific measures to prepare for a possible huge earthquake beneath the Japanese capital, despite high awareness on disaster prevention, a Metropolitan Police Department survey showed Friday. (Jiji Press )
The man under arrest for fatally stabbing one man and wounding three others during a 10-minute rampage in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday night, told police on Thursday that he wanted to hijack a plane at Haneda airport and fly it into Tokyo Skytree to take revenge on society. (Japan Today )
The man lauded as "Japan's Beethoven," who has admitted he never wrote his compositions, appeared before cameras for the first time since the scandal surfaced - clean-shaven and minus his trademark sunglasses. (abcnews.go.com )