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Abe becomes 3rd longest-serving prime minister in Japan

  • June 6, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 12:04 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, June 6 (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe became the third longest-serving leader in Japan on Thursday, tying with its first prime minister, Hirobumi Ito.

Abe marked his 2,720th day in office, including his one-year term that ended in September 2007. He came back to power in December 2012.

If Abe survives this summer’s election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament, his tenure will surpass the 2,798 days of Eisaku Sato, the longest-serving prime minister after World War II, on Aug. 24 and exceed Taro Katsura’s all-time record of 2,886 days, marked in the early 20th century, on Nov. 20.

“On top of various experiences during the first administration, strong support from Japanese people during the second administration has helped me get where I am,” Abe told reporters at the prime minister’s office, expressing appreciation to Japanese people.

“I want to fulfill the responsibility (for the support) by steadily moving forward with each policy that I promised to the people,” Abe said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference on Wednesday, “Under the leadership of the prime minister, we’ve worked hard on every challenge.” He cited areas such as economic revitalization and rebuilding of foreign and national security policy.

“Fulfilling our responsibilities while listening to the voice of people is important,” Suga said.

A weak opposition and the strengthening of the prime minister’s office are behind Abe’s long grip on power, a senior official at his ruling Liberal Democratic Party said.

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