Published December 12, 2012
TOKYO – The dozen or so parties vying in Japan's parliamentary election all agree the world's third-largest economy needs a jump-start now that it has slid back into recession for the fifth time in 15 years.
They are at odds, however, over how to achieve growth and keep it on track.
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is poised to head the government again if his Liberal Democratic Party does as well most polls are forecasting. He wants the central bank to do whatever it takes to break the economy out of its spiral of falling prices.
Whoever wins, Japan faces a hard choice that it has in common with the U.S. and other rich economies of either spending its way deeper into debt, or slashing spending and seeing the economy falter further.