U.S. Markets open in 8 hrs 8 mins

Japan PM to vow strong economy, defense in speech

TOKYO (AP) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to open Parliament in a speech Tuesday pledging more reforms and economic measures to fully pull Japan out of its long period of deflation.

Abe is expected to push further deregulation, reforms and other steps to encourage household spending and investment, including some aimed to offset the impact of the consumption tax increase in April to 8 percent from the current 5 percent.

In his policy speech, he will also propose controversial plans to boost national security and participation in peacekeeping efforts around the world.

Japan's Parliament is returning from a recess that followed a sweeping upper house election victory by Abe's ruling party in July. It gave his coalition bloc the majority in both houses, lowering hurdles for his government to pass key legislation.