Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's convincing election victory lifted the Nikkei to its highest in 21 years and world stocks to an all-time high on Monday. Ciara Lee reports.
A gamble that paid off. Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe wins a snap election with ease. Although opinion on the streets of Tokyo was somewhat divided. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 46-YEAR-OLD CREATIVE DIRECTOR FOR ADVERTISEMENT, TAKAFUMI ARIMITSU, SAYING: "I didn't understand why we should select a different leader from a different party when we have seen Abe's achievements including stable and sound stock markets." (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 22-YEAR-OLD BUSINESSMAN, SHOHEI MURAKAMI, SAYING: "I think Abe uses dirty manoeuvers, which is not desirable for Japan's leader." There was less division among investors though. Japan's Nikkei share average raced up to 21-year highs, and helped push world stocks to an all-time high. Abe's coalition kept its two-thirds "super majority" in the lower house, reassuring investors that his "Abenomics" reforms will continue. That includes the Bank of Japan's easy monetary policy, which has resulted in a weaker yen benefitting exporters. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR MARKETS ANALYST, OANDA, CRAIG ERLAM, SAYING: "In an economy that's seen such low levels of growth, such low levels of wage growth and inflation for so many years, I think more stimulus and looser monetary policy seems to be the kind of last option, and especially when they are seeing signs that it is working." Abe has a challenging time ahead. He wants to revise Japan's post-war, pacifist constitution. But media exit polls show that despite the big win, over half of voters don't trust the prime minister And there's also the continued threat from North Korea. Pyongyang has fired missiles over Japan in recent months.