Newspaper forecasts suggest ruling coalition likely to lose upper house elections.
“The voice of the people is saying ‘renew personnel completely’,” he said, adding that he had the “responsibility in appointing cabinet members”.
“I want to fulfil my responsibility to proceed with reform to build the nation and promote economic growth that the people can feel”
Shinzo Abe, Japanese prime minister
“Our answers have not been accepted by the people. I have told the party to make sure that we establish strict rules,” Abe said.
Critics said Abe was out of touch with voters concerned with bread-and-butter issues such as pensions and health care.
Paul Allen, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Tokyo, says that while the election result is a shattering election result for Abe one thing that is likely to save his job is the lack of a clear successor.
Ichiro Ozawa, the leader of the opposition Democratic Party leader who left the LDP 14 years ago, has pledged to shrink income gaps and help farmers, a group that has long been supportive of the LDP.
However Ozawa failed to appear publicly on Sunday and suffers from ill health and many doubt on his ability to keep leading his often fractious party.
The Democrats are a mix of ex-LDP politicians, former socialists and young conservatives, some of whom are seen as ripe for poaching.
Another factor in the prime minister’s favour is that no lower house poll need be held until late 2009, and Abe said he was not considering calling a snap poll anytime soon for that chamber, in which his coalition has a big majority.
Taro Aso, the current foreign minister, has been mooted as a possible successor, but many analysts say he is too similar in outlook to Abe to appeal any better to voters.