Japan's Suga says strong economy necessary to pursue fiscal reform

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga speaks behind a plastic panel for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as he officially kicks off his campaign rally for ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) presidential election in Tokyo, Japan September 8, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, a frontrunner to become next prime minister, said on Wednesday that strong economic growth is necessary to pursue fiscal reform.

“Reviving Japan’s economy is our priority ... A strong economy is necessary for social welfare, national security and fiscal reform,” Suga told a debate hosted by the ruling party.

Suga also said he would continue to focus on revitalising regional economies, which he described as among key pillars of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” stimulus policies.

Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Chris Gallagher