Japan’s Abe not considering 4th term as LDP head "at all"

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-13 18:55:05|Editor: xuxin
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TOKYO, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that he is not considering seeking another term as head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), despite ruling party executives suggesting earlier in the week an extension could help his goal of amending the constitution.

"I'm not thinking about a fourth term at all," Abe said at an event in Tokyo when asked about the possibility of extending his current term beyond September 2021.

Earlier in the week, senior executives from the ruling LDP has suggested that Abe extending his term could be a way for him to achieve one of the LDP’s "founding principles" and Abe’s career-goal of revising the constitution, despite opposition parties' and the public's disinclination for him to do so.

Abe, however, still reiterated his determination to amend Japan’s Supreme Charter for the first time since World War II during his current term, calling for opposition parties' cooperation in debating the issue and which articles in the constitution should be amended.

The Japanese premiere maintained, however, the thorny issue of constitutional amendment would be a difficult one.

"I know it won't be an easy task to amend the constitution. I still have about two years left in the current term, so I'm determined to deliver it," Abe said.

For Abe to achieve his difficult goal of amending the pacifist charter, and, in particular, rewriting Article 9 of the constitution to reference the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), a move widely disapproved of by opposition parties and the public, he would need to secure a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament and a majority in a public referendum on the matter.