TOKYO – Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been shoring up his power base within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) by launching new study groups and raising his public profile with more media interviews.

This has given rise to widespread speculation that Mr Abe, 66, who resigned last year due to a flare-up of a stress-induced chronic bowel condition amid plummeting approval ratings, is considering another run for the premiership.

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