Prime Minister of Japan 2006– Born in Nagato as the grandson of Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, he graduated in political sciences from Seikei University and took up a position at Kobe Steel Company. He became an assistant to his father, Shintaro Abe, at the Foreign Ministry in 1982, and in 1993 he entered the House of Representatives for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). In 2003, he became Secretary General of the LDP, and in 2005 Koizumi appointed him to the pivotal role of Chief Cabinet Secretary. Abe succeeded Koizumi to become Japan's youngest Prime Minister since World War II. Abe was less adept at dealing with his ministers and the party establishment. He also suffered from a scandal over pensions, and was weakened by the party's disastrous showing in the 2007 elections to the upper house.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).