TOKYO (AP) — Japan's lower house of parliament re-elected Shinzo Abe as prime minister on Wednesday after his party won a resounding victory in a snap election last month.
Abe, who has been Japan's leader since December 2012, easily won the balloting with 312 votes in the 465-seat lower house. He reappointed the same ministers to his Cabinet later in the day. They were officially sworn in at a palace ceremony.
Abe, 63, dissolved the lower house in late September to force an election. Political analysts saw the move as an attempt to win a new public mandate and re-establish his hold on power after a plunge in approval ratings during the summer.
His Liberal Democratic Party won a large majority in the Oct. 22 vote. Together with a junior coalition partner, the Komei Party, it retained a two-thirds majority in the lower house.
The victory boosts Abe's chances of being re-elected as LDP leader next September for another three-year term, potentially extending his premiership to 2021.