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What We Read Today 15 December 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

Japan's ruling party wins in landslide victory (Associated Press, Al Jazeera)  Japan's ruling coalition won big in Sunday's lower house elections, returning the party of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to power and ensuring the continuation of reforms aimed at lifting the country's economy out of its two-decade funk.  With 61% of the seats the Liberal Democrats have a comfortable margin over an array of smaller parties, even more secure because they have a ruling coalition with the Komei party which gathered another 7% of the lower house seats.  The results appear to assure the continuation of the economic reform policies known familiarly as 'Abenomics'. 

Abe's coalition secures big Japan election win with record low turnout (Linda Seig and Kiyoshi Takenaka, Reuters)  Record low turnout may suggest that Japan's voters may not have been very enthusiastic about returning Abe to power.  This article even says the "record low turnout pointed to broad dissatisfaction with his performance".  Abe's party actually won 4 fewer seats than it held since the previous election.  The turnout for this election is 52.4%.  In 2012 the turnout was 59.3%.

BOJ Said to Reject Adding Stimulus to Ease Blow to CPI From Oil (Toru Fujioka and Masahiro Hidaka, Bloomberg)  Policy makers feel that while cheaper energy costs may weigh on consumer prices for a time (Japan is trying to drive up inflation), they ultimately will boost the economy and therefore will spur inflation.

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