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Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2006

Abe repeats campaign vows; takes pay cut

Staff writer

Newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will reduce his own salary by 30 percent and that of Cabinet ministers by 10 percent to hold down spending, he said at a news conference Tuesday evening.

Arguing that financial reconstruction is impossible without economic growth, Abe vowed to slash unnecessary expenditures.

"We will be the first to start," through the pay cuts, he said.

Aside from the pay cut, Abe reiterated his pledge to create a "beautiful Japan." "I will make Japan into a country full of vibrance, opportunities and kindness."

He said he wants to create a society in which those who make efforts are rewarded.

"Because we are people, we will fail at times," Abe said. "But that one failure should not define your whole life. . . . (We) must create a society in which there are many opportunities in life."

Although questions were raised about whether Abe, who appointed many close allies to his Cabinet, was playing favorites, he brushed such criticism aside.

"I chose the person who I believe was most fit for the post at present," Abe stressed.

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The Japan Times

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