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Shinzo Abe Re-elected as Japanese Prime Minister

  • VOA News

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (3rd L) and his party's lawmakers raise their fists as they pledge to win in the upcoming lower house election, at their party headquarters in Tokyo, Japan September 28, 2017.

Japan's lower house of parliament has re-elected Shinzo Abe as prime minister.

His re-election Wednesday comes just days after the 63-year-old Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, the Komeito Party, won a decisive victory in a parliamentary election, maintaining its two-thirds majority in the Diet. He is expected to retain his current cabinet ministers.

Abe dissolved the Diet in September and called snap elections, amid increasing support for his hardline stance against the North Korean nuclear threat. The October 22 victory capped a sharp turnaround for Abe, whose approval ratings fell near 30 percent just a few months earlier thanks to domestic political scandals alleging that he used his office to help friends and family.

The victory will boost Abe's efforts to revise Japan's post-war, pacifist constitution that limits the country's military to act purely in self-defense. It could also clear the way for Abe to win another three-year term as leader of the ruling LDP next September, which would keep him in power until 2021, and make him Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. He first took office in December, 2012.

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