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PM Abe again dispels speculation on 4th term as LDP president

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives at the prime minister's office on the morning of Feb. 19, 2019. (Mainichi/Koichiro Tezuka)

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ruled out the possibility of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) extending its party presidential tenure to four consecutive terms from the current three, which would enable him to stay on for another term as party president -- and prime minister.

"It is the LDP's clear-cut rule that the party presidency is limited to three consecutive terms for a total of nine years," Abe told a meeting of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) in Tokyo on March 20. "So the (current) third term will genuinely be my last term," he said.

Abe's remark comes as there is speculation within the ruling party that its presidential tenure may be extended to a maximum four straight terms.

Speaking about JCCI Chairman Akio Mimura's announcement in a February press conference that Mimura was aiming for a third consecutive term in his post, Prime Minister Abe said, "I assume he is not aiming for a fourth term, and that's exactly the case with me."

(Japanese original by Shinya Hamanaka, Political News Department)

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