Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is vowing to spearhead economic recovery and strengthen Japan's military as he looks to regain leadership in elections next month.

Abe, head of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, is the most likely candidate to replace incumbent Yoshihiko Noda following Dec. 16 elections. Abe, who laid out his campaign platform Wednesday, resigned as prime minister in 2007 after a year in office due to a stomach ailment.

The conservative LDP, which suffered a bitter defeat to Noda's Democratic Party of Japan three years ago, has led recent polls. The DPJ has lost support largely because of its handling of the nuclear crisis and its doubling of the sales tax.

Polls indicate the LDP will win the most seats but will have to form a coalition.