Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday accepted a request to become chairman of the largest faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Abe will assume the post at a general meeting on Thursday of the faction, currently headed by former LDP Secretary-General Hiroyuki Hosoda, with the group renamed the Abe faction.

Senior officials from the faction visited Abe’s office in the building for House of Representatives lawmakers to make the request.

According to a person who attended the meeting, Abe said that the faction had nurtured him over many years and supported his administration.

“I would like to accept the position if it will help me repay the favor,” the former prime minister was quoted as saying.

Abe left the faction in 2012 when he became president of the LDP.

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