The Sept. 4 reshuffle of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet was the ninth since the current administration was launched in December 2012. What were the features of the reshuffle and what concrete policies will the new Cabinet be pursuing?
Before Abe’s current reign, the Liberal Democratic Party limited the tenure of its president to two consecutive three-year terms. Therefore, earlier long-running LDP administrations by Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and Junichiro Koizumi were wrapped up within six years. But a change to the rule in 2017 paved the way for an LDP president to serve up to three terms in a row. If Abe spends the full nine years in office, he will be the longest-serving prime minister in Japanese history.