Abe becomes longest-serving premier

TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tied the record for the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Japan’s constitutional politics.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday tied the record for the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Japan’s constitutional politics, matching Taro Katsura’s 2,886 days in the pre-World War II era.

 Abe’s term as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party expires in September 2021. He has expressed his desire to amend the Constitution as the final achievement of his long-standing administration.

 At a press conference on Tuesday morning, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, “I honestly feel that nearly seven years have passed rapidly as a result of the administration dealing with economic revitalization, the reconstruction of foreign policy and security issues, and the realization of a social security system that covers all generations.” 

 Suga added emphatically, “[The administration] will continue to tackle challenges one by one while listening with humility to the people.”

 Abe’s first Cabinet in 2006 was marred by a series of scandals among his Cabinet members, which led to the LDP losing in the 2007 House of Councillors election. Abe was also suffering from a chronic ailment, and his Cabinet resigned en masse in a year. 

 In 2012, Abe won the LDP presidential election and then returned to power after the LDP’s landslide victory in a House of Representatives election.

 Under the Abenomics economic policy package, which focuses on a policy of large-scale monetary easing, Abe won six consecutive victories in national elections, up through the 2019 upper house election. The Abe Cabinet passed the security-related laws in 2015 and raised the consumption tax rate twice, in April 2014 and October 2019.

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