(UPDATE 9/26/2012) Here's a link to the confidence-inspiring poster of Mr. Abe, detailing what he and his party would do if returned to power (for those of you who read Japanese):
If Liberal Democratic Party wins back the next election (Lower House, to be held sometime next year), he will be the prime minister of Japan for the second time.
5 years ago, he simply quit as the prime minister and LDP leader after encountering some minor difficulty in negotiating with the opposition (DPJ). He is an elite from a political family which has produced prime ministers and councilmen. His own father was the foreign minister under Prime Minister Nakasone. Reading his profile on Japanese wiki, he looks and sounds like a typical "third generation".
Tokyo Governor Ishihara's son didn't do well at all. (I hope he retires to Senkaku Island now, taking his daddy with him.)
From Nikkei Shinbun (9/26/2012; part) reporting on the party election result just announced:
The LDP leadership election was held on September 26, and after the final round of voting, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was the 2nd in the first round of voting, won the election by defeating Mr. Shigeru Ishiba, former chairman of the party policy bureau. It was the first time in 56 years that the candidate placed 2nd in the first round won in the final round. For Mr. Abe, it will be the second time as the party leader since he resigned the same position in 2007. It will be the first time for the party to have the party leader who resigned from the post before, since the party was formed in 1955.
In case you are not aware, despite the official name the party is not "liberal", just like DPJ under Yoshihiko Noda has been shown to be not "democratic".
Now, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as the leader of DPJ elected by overwhelming majority of the party has appointed Goshi Hosono as the party's new policy bureau chairman, replacing Seiji Maehara (whom many call a puppet of the US). As the result, Goshi Hosono resigned as the minister in charge of nuclear accident and focus on the election strategy for the party.
So much for his word that he decided not to run for the DPJ leadership election because he wanted to focus on the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident and the cleanup effort.
Also, Finance Minister Jun Azumi will resign, as he becomes the deputy secretary-general of the party. Not much loss here, as he is a rank amateur when it comes to finance and economy.
So, as far as the politicians in Japan are concerned, the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident looks to be totally behind them. It is indeed a "post-accident phase" they are in, as IAEA's Director-General Yukiya Amano said the other day, 1,660 Bq/kg of radioactive cesium in apples in Chiba notwithstanding.