Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe won the ruling Liberal Democratic Party presidential election on Wednesday afternoon and will succeed Junichiro Koizumi to become Japan's first prime minister born after World War II.
Abe, turning 52 on Thursday, was born in 1954 in Tokyo as the second son of late former Japanese Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe.
He graduated from the Department of Political Science of the Faculty of Law at Seikei University in Tokyo in 1977 and went on to study politics at the University of Southern California.
He entered the political scene as his father's secretary in 1982 after working for Kobe steel Ltd. for about three years.
He debuted in Japanese political circle in 1993, winning a House of Representatives seat by running in a constituency in Yamaguchi Prefecture. In 2000, he was appointed deputy chief Cabinet secretary in the second Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori.
In 2002, as Japan's chief negotiator on the issue of abductions of Japanese nationals by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Abe impressed the Japanese public with his tough and uncompromising attitude.
He was elected LDP secretary general in 2003 and became a Cabinet member for the first time in the post of chief Cabinet secretary in Junichiro Koizumi's third Cabinet in 2005.