By MARI YAMAGUCHI , Associated Press
“It’s time to tackle a constitutional revision,” Abe said in a victory speech. “Now the fight is over.”
Abe said he’s determined to use his last term to pursue his policy goals to “sum up” Japan’s postwar diplomacy to ensure peace in the country.
“Let’s work together to make a new Japan,” he said.
Abe, who has been prime minister since December 2012, has cemented control of his party and received support from conservatives for bringing stability and continuity to economic and diplomatic policies. With a third term as party leader, Abe is poised to become Japan’s longest-serving leader in August 2021.
Still, he faces several challenges, including dealing with Japan’s aging and declining population, a royal succession in the spring, and a consumption tax hike to 10 percent he has already delayed twice. He faces security concerns stemming from North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, and China’s increasingly assertive activity in the region, as well as intensifying trade friction with the U.S. which could shake his friendly relations with President Donald Trump.
Abe has said he is determined to push for a revision to the U.S.-drafted 1947 constitution, a decades-old pledge of the Liberal Democratic Party since its foundation in 1955 and a goal that none of Abe’s predecessors has been able to achieve.