Looking Back At Pm Abe's Years In Office


Looking back at PM Abe's years in office

Let's take a look at the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's political history.

At the start of a winning streak that's spanned six and a half years, Abe had a clear focus.

The Liberal Democratic Party leader is so strongly linked to his party's economic policy, it bears his name: "Abenomics."

The bold policy aims to revitalize a stagnated economy and stimulate private businesses.

Together with a focus on national security, Abe promised stability in a time of change. Japan is struggling to deal with an aging population and dwindling work force.

His mandate was soon tested - not once, but twice.

Within his first two years in power, Abe's LDP won both an Upper and Lower house election -- strengthening his control.

So, Abe moved ahead with one of his long-standing priorities.

In a significant shift from established policy, Abe pushed through bills to expand the role of the country's Self-Defense Forces and allow Japan to exercise its right to defend an ally that's under attack .

It didn't come without conflict. Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Diet. They worried this was a step toward Abe's goal of changing Japan's constitution.

Nonetheless, the bills would go on to become law.

Despite a temporary rise in his disapproval rate, Abe won another Upper House election in 2016.

In 2017, a series of scandals hit his Cabinet and Abe himself. Opposition camp accused his administration of influence peddling to help open two schools. One of them involved a long-term friend of Abe.

At the height of the political intrigue, Abe made a bold move - dissolving the Lower House and calling a snap election.

But his opponents weren't able to capitalize on the opportunity. The major opposition group fractured, forming two new parties.

In the end, voters gave the ruling bloc enough seats to maintain a two-thirds majority in the Lower House.

However, the scandal concerning the two schools remained. The government was accused of tampering with official documents. Abe apologized, and opposition parties say the issue still hasn't been fully settled.

In the midst of that, Abe was re-elected leader of the LDP. Together with a previous run as leader in 2006, this puts him on track to become the country's longest serving prime minister, this November.

But the challenges of changing demographics continue to dog him.

Recently, the government rejected a report that says elderly couples may need massive savings to supplement their state pensions after retirement.

This is just one of the issues Abe will need to resolve, if he hopes to fulfill the promises he laid out at the start of his time in office.