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Abe allies float fourth term to stave off lame-duck status

Extending record-breaking run would delay looming succession question

Some party officials have begun talking about a fourth term for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Photo by Shinya Sawai)

TOKYO -- As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe serves out his third and presumably final term, some members of his party are raising the possibility that he run a fourth time to ensure he retains enough influence to pursue his agenda.

Abe, whose term as head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party ends in September 2021, is set to become Japan's longest-serving prime minister on Nov. 20 of this year, with 2,887 days in office -- including his briefer stint as the country's leader about 12 years ago.

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