Hailing from a politically prominent family, at age 52, Abe became the youngest post-war prime minister of Japan, and the first to be born after the Second World War, when he was elected by a special session of the National Diet in September 2006. Abe resigned on 12 September 2007, for health reasons. Abe was replaced by Yasuo Fukuda, beginning a string of five prime ministers, none of whom retained office for more than sixteen months, before Abe staged a political comeback.
On 26 September 2012, Abe defeated former Minister of Defense Shigeru Ishiba for the LDP presidency. Following the LDP's landslide victory in the 2012 general election, Abe became Prime Minister again. Abe is the first former Prime Minister to return to the office since Shigeru Yoshida in 1948. Abe was re-elected at the 2014 general election, retaining his two-thirds majority with coalition partner Komeito.