On Thursday, Japans Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won a commanding victory in a vote for the leadership of the country’s ruling party.
His victory against a single challenger moves him closer to becoming the longest-serving prime minister in the country’s history.
Abe 63 is starting a new three-year term as president of the Liberal Democratic Party and assures him of remaining prime minister.
He will surpass the previous longevity record for prime minister, set during the Meiji era in the early 20th century by Taro Katsura.
If he remains in office until November 2019 — just short of seven years after he was elected in December 2012.
“Cooperating with you, I’d like to do my best to hand over to our children’s generation a Japan filled with hope and pride,” Mr. Abe said in his acceptance speech.
Above all, analysts said, Mr. Abe’s signature accomplishment is his stable political leadership in a country that had grown weary of a conveyor belt of prime ministers.
Critics have been disappointed by Mr. Abe’s entanglement in influence-peddling scandals and his failure to deliver stronger economic growth or the gender equality measures that he has long promised.