Japan Correspondent Walter Sim traces the highs and lows of former prime minister Shinzo Abe's years in charge of the world's third-largest economy.
Sept 26, 2006
Becomes Japan's youngest post-war prime minister at the age of 52.
Sept 26, 2007
Quits as prime minister due to poor health, with support for his scandal-hit administration at a nadir. At least four ministers quit and one hangs himself. He sparks a revolving door of six prime ministers until he retakes the position in 2012.
Dec 26, 2012
Becomes prime minister again after the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) trounces Democratic Party of Japan in a general election.
Moots the "Abenomics" brand of policies, comprising fiscal expansion, monetary easing and structural reform, to get Japan out of its economic funk. Sets inflation target of 2 per cent.
But the Covid-19 crisis has wiped out any gains from Abenomics with Japan in recession. The inflation goal also remains out of reach.
Sept 7, 2013
Tokyo wins bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with Mr Abe's strong lobbying. But the event, which would have cemented his legacy as prime minister, has been postponed to next year.
Dec 26, 2013
Becomes the first Japanese prime minister in seven years to visit the controversial war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, igniting a firestorm of criticism from China and South Korea, and disapproval from ally United States. He has not visited the shrine since.
July 1, 2014
Reinterprets the war-renouncing Constitution to allow "collective self-defence", thus enabling Japanese troops to fight in the aid of allies under armed attack.
Dec 14, 2014
Wins snap election, called two years ahead of time, to attain public mandate on economic policies, including a tax hike delay.
Aug 14, 2015
Expresses remorse but gives no apology on the 70th anniversary of World War II. Says future generations of Japanese should not be made to keep apologising.
Dec 28, 2015
Reaches 'comfort women' deal with then South Korea President Park Geun-hye to resolve the protracted issue of wartime sex slaves.
Her successor Moon Jae-in has effectively nullified the deal, while ties with Seoul have worsened due to such issues as wartime labour and trade.
Nov 17, 2016
Visits US president-elect Donald Trump bearing gold-plated golf club, in charm offensive that rips up diplomatic protocol.
Dec 27, 2016
Becomes first Japanese prime minister to visit Pearl Harbour, in a trip that follows US President Barack Obama's visit to Hiroshima in May.
SCANDAL: Moritomo Gakuen
A plot of public land in Osaka was sold at just 14 per cent of its appraised value to the right-wing educator, to build a new elementary school where Mr Abe's wife Akie was to be honorary principal.
After Mr Abe says he will quit if he or his wife were found to be directly involved in the sweetheart deal, official government documents are tampered with to scrub out names.
A Finance Ministry bureaucrat, ordered to doctor the documents, would kill himself. His widow has sued for damages in a case now before the courts.
May 3, 2017
Sets 2020 target to revise the pacifist Constitution for the first time since its 1947 enactment. The goal is now out of reach.
SCANDAL: Kake Gakuen
Mr Abe was alleged to have favoured his close friend's bid to win a licence for Japan's first veterinary school in 52 years, thus disregarding due process.
June 15, 2017
Diet passes controversial "anti-terror" conspiracy bill, criminalising the plotting of 277 acts before they are committed. These include drug trafficking, copyright violation, and even theft of forestry goods.
Oct 22, 2017
Wins in snap election, called one year ahead of time to capitalise on an uptick in support after a Cabinet reshuffle, a disjointed opposition, and the potential flight to safety due to North Korea missile launches.
March 8, 2018
In a major coup, the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership deal is signed following US withdrawal. Member countries credit Mr Abe for his role as a flagbearer for multilaterism in pushing the pact to fruition.
July 20, 2018
Diet passes integrated resorts bill, pushed for by Mr Abe as a new driver of tourism dollars but controversial over fears that it will worsen gambling addiction.
A year later, LDP lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto is arrested in an IR bribery scandal.
SCANDAL: Sakura garden party
Mr Abe is alleged to have wined and dined voters from his Yamaguchi constituency in the annual taxpayer-funded event in Tokyo.
Amid calls for transparency, the government says that the invitation lists have been shredded.
Nov 20, 2019
Becomes Japan's longest-serving prime minister at 2,887 days, including his 2006-2007 term in office. He overtakes Imperial Japanese Army general Taro Katsura, who led for 2,886 days in the early 1900s.
SCANDAL: Prosecutor retirement
Mr Abe moots revised laws to extend the retirement age of handpicked prosecutors, triggering an uproar given that the intended beneficiary was his close ally Hiromu Kurokawa, chief of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office.
Support sinks as celebrities lead the charge to pillory Mr Abe. Mr Kurokawa resigns in May after reports emerged that he breached social distancing guidelines by playing mahjong for money during a Covid-19 state of emergency.
The plan has been ditched.
April 8, 2020
Declares state of emergency amid worsening Covid-19 outbreak, but is criticised for being too laidback in pandemic response.
June 18, 2020
Mr Abe's handpicked justice minister Katsuyuki Kawai and his wife Anri are arrested on charges of vote-buying at an Upper House election in 2019.
Public support sinks over scandals and perceived indifference in Covid-19 measures.
Suffers early signs of relapse of ulcerative ulcerative colitis, a stress-induced chronic digestive ailment.
Aug 24, 2020
Sets record as prime minister with the longest uninterrupted stretch in office, at 2,799 consecutive days since 2012. He overtakes his great-uncle Eisaku Sato's record of 2,798 days from 1964 to 1972.
Privately decides to quit after consulting with doctors.