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Aso becomes longest-serving postwar finance minister

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Taro Aso became the nation’s longest-serving finance minister in the post-World War II period on Monday, as he struggles to pull the country out of deflation and rebuild its tattered finances.

Aso marked 1,875 days in office after he was given the post in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Dec. 26, 2012, surpassing Kiichi Miyazawa, who spent a total of 1,874 days as finance minister.

Aso is responsible for supporting the prime minister’s Abenomics growth policy. But the country has not yet achieved 2 pct inflation, a goal set by the government and the Bank of Japan.

Years of strong stock market performance, which Abe touted as one of the achievements of his Abenomics policy, have been overshadowed by recent global financial market turmoil.

The country has a long way to go toward restoring its fiscal health, as debts owed by the central and local governments have topped ¥1,000 trillion.

The Abe government last year gave up its goal of achieving a primary budget surplus by fiscal 2020. An increase in the 8 pct consumption tax to 10 percent has been postponed twice and is now set for October 2019.Speech

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