Tokyo: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has won re-election as leader of his ruling party on Thursday, setting him on course to become Japan's longest-serving premier and realise his dream of reforming the constitution.
The 63-year-old conservative secured 553 votes from lawmakers and party members against 254 won by former defence minister Shigeru Ishiba in a two-horse race for leader of the Liberal Democratic Party.
The victory will also help Abe cement his legacy and materialise his dream of revising the pacifist Constitution.
Abe had surged back to power in 2012 on the promise to reboot the economy and strengthen defence.
Of the 810 votes up for grabs, 807 were valid.
If Abe stays in office through November 2019, he will have exceeded the 2,886 days marked by Taro Katsura in the early 20th century.