TOKYO — Shinzo Abe has created history as Japan’s longest serving prime minister after reaching 2,887 days in office on Wednesday.
Speaking to the media at his office here yesterday, Abe said he was always conscious that he was “treading on thin ice” while having a deep appreciation of the weight of responsibility that he was carrying as Japan’s leader.
And he pledged to ” put my heart and soul into working on policy issues and never forget my original intentions”.
Abe said he was doing his best every day to stabilise domestic politics and this had brought him step by step towards achieving the longevity in office in a nation notorious for quite regular changes at the helm.
Asked what policies he would address moving forward, the prime minister said his priorities would be to overcome deflation, dealing with Japan’s declining birthrate and aging population.
He also mentioned key issues such as reaching a final settlement for Japan’s postwar diplomacy and revising the Constitution.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party secretary general, Toshihiro Nikai, praised Abe’s record in office, saying the prime minister had led the way and had energetically acted and spoken.
” The public feels a sense of security and trust over the prime minister’s personality,” he added.
Meanwhile, the English-language daily The Japan News in an editorial yesterday said Abe should not allow his administration to fall into a rut as a result of its long tenure but instead should steer his government by reflecting on his present position.
Since he came to power in 2012, Abe has pushed forward the so-called Abenomics economic policy package and through bold monetary easing policies and flexible fiscal actions,his Cabinet helped the economy get on a recovery track, the paper wrote.
Other successes Abe has been credited with included the security-related laws passed in 2015 that allow Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defence in a limited manner, reinforcing the Japan-U.S. alliance as well as building a relationship of trust with U.S. President Donald Trump.