Capitalizing on his sweeping electoral victory over the weekend, Japan’s next prime minister, Shinzo Abe, stepped up pressure Monday on the Bank of Japan to ease monetary policy dramatically in an effort to end deflation and jump-start the country’s economy.

Abe’s center-right Liberal Democratic Party scored an overwhelming victory in Sunday’s parliamentary election after a highly unusual campaign in which he focused his attacks more on the central bank than on the outgoing government of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. NHK public TV said Monday the LDP had won 294 seats in the 480-member lower house of parliament while its ally, the New Komeito party, won 31 seats, giving them the two-thirds majority needed to overrule most matters in the upper house, where Noda’s Democratic Party of Japan holds the largest number of seats.

During the campaign, Abe had declared that the top priority of an LDP government would be to bring an end to the deflation that has plagued Japan’s economy for 15 years. To that end, he called on the Bank of Japan to double its inflation target, to 2 percent, and to ease aggressively along the lines of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board to reach that goal. He also identified the strong yen as an archenemy of business and vowed to press for measures, including purchases of foreign bonds by the BoJ, to weaken it. Abe even threatened to override the central bank’s independence if it didn’t bow to the will of the government.

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