05:46 GMT +323 October 2019
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    In this Aug. 3, 2017 photo, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso leave after an official photo session with Abe's new Cabinet at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo

    Japanese PM Wants to Participate in Ruling Party's Election in September

    © AP Photo / Shizuo Kambayashi
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japanese Prime Minister and incumbent ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) President Shinzo Abe expressed his wish on Saturday to participate in the party's leadership election on September 20.

    If re-elected as the party's president, Abe will almost certainly keep his position as Japan's prime minister. Last year, the LDP decided to prolong the term limit on party leaders from the two consecutive three-year terms to the three consecutive three-year terms, effectively enabling Abe to remain in office until September 2021.

    "The intention that I had during the nomination six years ago has not changed. I want to take a final decision on whether I have enough of physical and mental strength to support this intention," Abe said as quoted by the Kyodo news agency.

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    Moreover, the Japanese minister reiterated his intention to amend the war-renouncing Article 9 of the country's Constitution to define the status of Japan's self-defense forces.

    On Friday, Japan's former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba also announced his intention to run in the LDP election. He was also a candidate in the previous LDP election held in September 2012.

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