- Associated Press - Monday, October 23, 2017

TOKYO (AP) - Japan’s leader has pledged to tackle what he called Japan’s two national crises, the military threat from North Korea and an aging and shrinking population.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a post-election news conference Monday that he would pursue “strong diplomacy” to pressure North Korea to halt its missile and nuclear weapons development.

His ruling coalition was returned to power in elections Sunday for Japan’s more powerful lower house. Abe said the result showed “strong support” and thanked the people for backing stability and his government’s policies.

He promised a comprehensive package by the end of the year to deal with Japan’s demographic challenges, including investments in education, productivity improvements and pension system reform.

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