Abe Shinzō on Track to Become Japan’s Longest-Serving Prime MinisterPolitics
Prime Minister Abe Shinzō was elected president of the Liberal Democratic Party for the third consecutive time on September 20, 2018, defeating former LDP Secretary-General Ishiba Shigeru.
Abe Shinzō’s first tenure as prime minister began in September 2006, but he resigned after just one year due to health problems. Abe returned to the helm of the LDP in September 2012, when the Democratic Party of Japan was still in power, defeating Ishiba in a run-off election amid an initial pool of five candidates. In December of that year, the LDP regained power after a lower house election, returning Abe to the office of prime minister. As of September 20, 2018, he has held the post for a cumulative period of 2,461 days that includes the first Abe administration. This is the fifth longest total ever.
Prime Minister Abe is on course to surpass the length in office of Yoshida Shigeru on February 23, 2019, and of Itō Hirobumi on June 7 of that same year, lifting him to the rank of Japan’s third-longest-serving prime minister. If he remains in power beyond next summer’s scheduled upper house election, Abe will rise to the number-two spot on August 23, displacing his great uncle on his mother’s side, Satō Eisaku. And if he can remain in power until November 20, 2019, Abe will surpass Katsura Tarō as the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Japan’s constitutional government.
Prime Minister Abe’s current tenure as LDP president will not expire until September 30, 2021, and if he serves as the head of government until then, his total term in office will stretch to 3,567 days.
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: (Left) Katsura Tarō © National Diet Library. (Right) Abe Shinzō © Jiji.)