Shinzo Abe becomes Japan”s longest-serving Prime Minister

TIL Desk/World/Islamabad/ Shinzo Abe on Wednesday became the longest-serving Prime Minister in Japan”s history, reaching almost eight years in power. The 65-year-old leader of the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) marked 2,887 days as head of the Japanese government on Wednesday, overtaking Taro Katsura, who served as Prime Minister three times between 1901 and 1913.

Abe became Prime Minister in 2006 but resigned a year later over health issues, before returning to the post in December 2012. Abe, who in principle could remain in power until his third and final term as LDP party leader ends in September 2021, said he feels “great responsibility” for the rest of his tenure.

The Prime Minister said the main challenges facing Japan are getting out of deflation, solving problems arising from low birth rates and accelerated demographic aging, and reforming the Japanese constitution. Modifying the constitution, and in particular the pacifist article that limits defence capabilities, is one of Abe”s great political priorities, but currently does not have enough support in the two chambers of the Diet (parliament) to achieve such reform.

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