" On historical issues, which are a source of tension between Japan and its neighbouring countries, Abe said the issues should be left to historians, adding his visit to the notorious war-linked Yasukuni Shrine was out of personal emotion."
Tokyo, Dec 1 - Japanese opposition parties Monday criticised Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic and security policies during a debate here ahead of the Dec 14 general elections.

During the debate held at the Japan National Press Club, Abe, president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), in a move to defend his economic policies dubbed Abenomics, said that it was the only chance for Japan to overcome the prolonged deflation and the only way that could lead to economic recovery was to continue Abenomics, Xinhua reported.

Banri Kaieda, head of the country's main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), pointed out that Abenomics only resulted in a fast retreating yen that triggered price hike and led to an enlarged wealth gap, saying economic restoration will depend on stabilisation of employment.

On security policies, the prime minister said he would push forward the legislation related to exercising the right to collective self-defence, adding that sending Japan's Self-Defence Forces (SDF) to the Gulf region for mine-sweeping probably falls in with the three conditions set by the cabinet in July to loosen the constitutional limits on the use of force.

Kaieda criticised Abe saying that Abe ignored public will to pass bills related to collective defence and the Special Secrecy Law. Joining in the debate , Social Democratic Party's leader Tadatomo Yoshida also said that removing its self-imposed ban on the exercise of the right to collective self-defence violated Japan's post-war stand on defence.

In July, Abe's administration gave the green light for the SDF to exercise the right to collective self-defence, overhauling Japan's defence posture and allowing the SDF to engage in fights overseas. The move goes contrary to Japan's war-renouncing constitution which banned the SDF from fighting outside Japan's territories.

The prime minister further vowed that if his party won the upcoming vote, he would try to secure more public support to revise the pacifist constitution.

On historical issues, which are a source of tension between Japan and its neighbouring countries, Abe said the issues should be left to historians, adding his visit to the notorious war-linked Yasukuni Shrine was out of personal emotion.

He also said he would release a statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.


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