Abe Becomes Japan's Longest - Serving Prime Minister

Abe becomes Japan's longest-serving prime minister

Shinzo Abe has become Japan's longest-serving prime minister, breaking a record set over a century ago. Prime Minister Abe's total tenure reached 2,887 days on Wednesday.

Abe told reporters on Wednesday morning, "Each and every day I have done my best to carry out the policies I promised the Japanese people I would. I believe I was able to reach this day through those efforts."

Abe first became prime minister in 2006, but resigned a year later over health issues.

Since returning to the top post in December 2012, he has prioritized the economy... and has implemented financial, fiscal and regional revitalization programs.

But his tenure in office has also drawn criticism over allegations of influence peddling and document tampering by officials.

Now opposition lawmakers are accusing Abe of using taxpayers' money to entertain his constituents at an annual cherry blossom-viewing party.

Abe said, "That's something the Japanese people will judge, but going forward I want to answer various questions in the Diet."

There's no term limit for a prime minister in Japan. But Abe's third and final session as president of the main governing Liberal Democratic Party will end in September 2021, setting an effective limit on his premiership.

Until then, he is likely to pursue his long-held wish of amending the Constitution.

Abe will also likely aim to make progress in resolving the issues of North Korea's abductions of Japanese citizens... and signing a peace treaty with Russia.