Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday expressed his determination to lead the Liberal Democratic Party to victories in a series of local polls in April and the election for the House of Councillors in summer.
“Although the elections are bound to be tough, I’m resolved to stand at the forefront of the battle until the last minute,” Abe told a party convention, held at a hotel in Tokyo, calling on party members to unite.
Abe also reiterated his intention to realize constitutional reforms, one of his policy goals.
In 2019, which is the Year of the Boar in the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle, Japan is set to have both quadrennial unified local elections and a triennial upper house election.
The LDP has had a poor showing in some of the past Year of the Boar elections.
In 2007, the previous Year of the Boar, the LDP suffered a humiliating defeat in the upper house election in summer, which followed unified local polls in spring, under Abe’s first administration. The election setback led to the resignation of Abe as prime minister in September the same year, only one year after he assumed the top government post.
“I was to blame” for the 2007 upper house election defeat, Abe said at the LDP convention. “I’ve never forgotten the election loss, even for a moment.”
“The time has finally come for us to work on revising our country’s Constitution, an ardent wish for our party since its founding,” Abe also said. “Let’s put an end to a Constitution-related controversy by clarifying the existence of the Self-Defense Forces in the top law.”
The prime minister also stressed the need to thoroughly examine the labor ministry’s survey irregularities, an issue that has rocked the country recently, adding that his government will make all-out efforts to prevent a similar problem from happening again.Speech