National / Politics

Abe 'not thinking about' fourth term as Liberal Democratic Party head

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday said he is not thinking about the possibility of seeking another term as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party by changing its rules, despite his aim of achieving constitutional reform during his tenure.

Speaking at an event in Tokyo, Abe stuck to his goal of amending the Constitution during his term, urging opposition parties to fulfill their responsibility as lawmakers to engage in “substantive” debate over details, such as which articles should be rewritten.

“I know it won’t be an easy task. I still have about two years left in the current term, so I’m determined to deliver it,” Abe said.

When asked about the prospect of another term beyond September 2021, however, Abe said, “I’m not thinking about a fourth term at all.”

Some senior LDP lawmakers have voiced support for extending Abe’s tenure if he is serious about realizing the party’s goals for a first-ever change to the Constitution. Abe’s current three-year term is due to be his last, and the LDP has to change its rules if he wants to seek a fresh term.