Shinzo Abe tied Taro Katsura as the nation's longest-serving prime minister Tuesday, with a total of 2,886 days in office.

Nearly seven years into his current tenure, which began in 2012 and followed a stint from 2006 to 2007, Abe is set to break Katsura's century-old record on Wednesday at a time when myriad challenges lie ahead, most recently a controversy over a publicly funded cherry blossom-viewing party.

Before his current term as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party ends in September 2021, Abe is expected to step up his quest for major accomplishments to define his legacy.