Abe becomes head of largest faction in Japan's ruling party

Japan Today -- Nov 11
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday became head of the largest faction within Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party upon his return to the intraparty bloc following a nine-year absence.

Abe was officially named successor to Hiroyuki Hosoda, a former chief cabinet secretary, by faction members during a meeting Thursday, a day after Hosoda was elected speaker of the House of Representatives.

In 2012, Abe left the faction, then led by the late former Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura, before his second stint as prime minister, and had not joined an intraparty bloc even after stepping down from the post in September last year.

"I would like to dedicate my best effort, together with all of you, in order to pass on to the next generation a Japan that we can be proud of," said Abe, who was Japan's longest-serving prime minister.

The faction, founded in 1979 by the late former Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda, has about 90 lawmakers and has produced four prime ministers -- Yoshiro Mori, Junichiro Koizumi, Abe and Yasuo Fukuda -- since 2000.

Hosoda resigned as faction leader on Tuesday and called for Abe to succeed him. At a faction meeting, all of the around 20 lawmakers attending supported the proposal and Abe accepted the request on Wednesday.

自民党の細田派は総会を開き、新会長に安倍元総理大臣が就任することを全会一致で決めました。最大派閥「安倍派」が正式に発足しました。 - ANNnewsCH