September 20, 2018 / 5:22 AM / a month ago

Japan's PM Abe wins party vote, on track for extended term

TOKYO (Reuters) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won a ruling party leadership vote on Thursday, setting him on track to become Japan’s longest-serving premier and try to cement his legacy, including by revising the pacifist constitution.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2nd L), who is also the ruling Liberal Democratic Party leader (LDP), votes for the ruling party leadership election at the party's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Abe, who surged back to power in 2012 promising to reboot the economy and strengthen defence, defeated former defence minister Shigeru Ishiba in the election for Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) chief, winning 553 votes to Ishiba’s 254. Of the 810 votes up for grabs, 807 were valid.

If Abe stays in office through November 2019, he will have exceeded the 2,886 days marked by Taro Katsura in the early 20th century.

Reporting by Linda Sieg; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim

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