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The Editors

Abe's Second Chance

Now that he has voters' support to pursue his economic-revival program, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should look abroad for help with his reforms.
Smile and look abroad.

Smile and look abroad.

Photographer: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked Japanese voters for a renewed mandate to pursue his economic-revival program, and on Sunday they gave it to him. To breathe new life into his reforms at home, he should now look abroad.

As the election made clear, there’s little debate about the thrust of Abe's current reform plan. Even Japan’s weak opposition parties more or less acknowledge the good that the first two “arrows” in Abe’s program -- massive monetary easing and fiscal stimulus -- have done. The Bank of Japan’s bond-buying has driven down the yen 30 percent against the dollar and filled the coffers of companies with global earnings. The unemployment rate is remarkably low; the stock market is rising. Nor is there much quibbling about the direction of Abe’s third arrow -- structural changes aimed at improving Japan’s competitiveness.