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Opinion
William Pesek

Japan Needs Action, Not Elections

With Japan sliding into recession again, Shinzo Abe needs to act, not hit the campaign trail.
Abe has the mandate he needs already.

Abe has the mandate he needs already.

Photographer: Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images

For a leader who's displayed no shortage of tough-guy tendencies, why does Shinzo Abe act so timidly when it comes to Japan's economy?

That might seem like a strange question to ask today, when the prime minister appears ready to call a dramatic snap election to win support for his economic policies. After an annualized 1.6 percent plunge in third-quarter growth, which has technically pushed Japan back into recession, Abe is hoping for a mandate to postpone a proposed sales-tax increase due next year.