Japan's prime minister, unopposed, renamed party leader

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 7, 2015 at 10:02 p.m.


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TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won a new term as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday after facing no opposition for the job.

He told reporters afterward that he would push his ongoing economic revival plan, saying "Abenomics is still partway through."

The party named Abe president after no other lawmakers filed applications to run against him in an election that had been set for Sept. 20. Candidates had to gain support from 20 other lawmakers in the party to run.

Abe's current, three-year term as LDP president ends on Sept. 30. His new term will run until Sept. 30, 2018.

Abe took office after a general election in December 2012 that vanquished the opposition Democratic Party of Japan. He also served as prime minister in 2006-2007.

With other parties in disarray, the Liberal Democrats and their coalition partner the Komei party hold a two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament and can override the opposition on most legislation.

Abe is expected to shift his focus to the economy after parliamentary approval, expected later this month, of contentious security legislation that has hurt his ratings in public support polls.

He is a relatively long-lasting prime minister, in a country where leaders often hold power for about a year, and could remain in office until 2018.

"Continuity is strength," he said.

The last uncontested LDP leadership race was in 2001, when Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was party president.

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This story has been corrected to show the ruling coalition holds a two-thirds majority, not three-fourths.

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