Japan's Shinzo Abe will not seek PM office after 2021

Speaking in a parliamentary committee meeting on Thursday, Abe said he will not seek office past 2021

File photo: Shinzo Abe

File photo: Shinzo Abe (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking at a parliamentary budget committee meeting on Thursday, March 14, said that he would not seek to be re-elected as Japanese Prime Minister.

Abe, as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), is already set to become Japan’s longest serving prime minister in November this year. His comments made Thursday indicate he expects the current term until 2021 to be his last.

Despite the fact that LDP regulations prohibit a party member from serving four consecutive terms as prime minister, Abe’s popularity in the party has led some to consider altering the party’s regulations so that Abe might continue as the nation’s leader.

However, on Thursday, Abe indicated that he had no intention of staying on for a fourth term past 2021, saying instead that he remains focused on “putting all his energy into producing results” in what he called his “final term.”

Abe served as Prime Minister briefly from September 2006, before stepping down abruptly only a year later due to several controversies and a decline in public support for the LDP.

He resumed the office for a second term in 2012, where he has remained since.

According to a Bloomberg report, there is no clear successor in sight for the LDP, however Shinjiro Koizumi, the 37 year old son of Abe’s original predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi is reportedly the most popular candidate for the position according to an October public poll.