• Kyodo

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The Liberal Democratic Party plans to extend its presidential term limit to three consecutive three-year terms, a senior party member said Tuesday, meaning Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could still be in office for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Current party rules limit LDP presidents to two consecutive terms totaling six years, leaving Abe’s term set to expire in September 2018.

The LDP’s task force on party and political system reform proposed last month to either extend the limit to three consecutive terms or abolish term limits altogether.

There are no term limits for prime ministers, but by convention he or she is usually the head of the ruling party.

The three-term proposal is expected to be announced Wednesday at a meeting of the task force chaired by LDP Vice President Masahiko Komura.

The proposal will then be put to a meeting of all LDP Diet members. If they approve, it will then go before the LDP General Council before the relevant rules can be amended at a party convention in March.

Abe served as prime minister for around a year before resigning in September 2007. While the two other LDP prime ministers in power prior to Abe’s re-election in late 2012 resigned early, Junichiro Koizumi, who was prime minister from 2001 until 2006, stepped down when he reached the LDP’s term limit.

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