June 10, 2023

JAPAN ’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has said he will resign from office due to declining health conditions despite the fact that his tenure was supposed to end in September, 2021

The announcement on Friday, ended weeks of speculations in Tokyo, about what he would do but, ignited political activities about who succeeds him.

Though, he declined to comment on who might replace him as leader of Liberal Democratic party [LDP] and prime minister, there are speculations that his finance minister, Taro Aso, and Shigeru Ishiba, a longtime critic may step into his shoes.

He said in a televised news conference that, “Poor health should not influence political decisions, and as long as I am unable to meet the expectations of the Japanese people, I have decided that I cannot stay on as prime minister and will step down.

“In politics, the most important thing is to produce results.

“For seven years and eight months, I have done my best to get results, but I have been struggling with my illness and I need treatment.

“I have lost a lot of my energy and strength.

“It is gut wrenching to have to leave my job before accomplishing my goals.

“I don’t want to create a sudden vacancy because of my illness, which is why I decided to resign after I received the results of my latest tests this week.

“The greatest challenge facing us now is our response to the coronavirus.

“There should be no disruption to that.”

He said he had been able to manage his illness, which he has lived with since his teens, until a regular medical checkup in June revealed signs that it had returned.

His health had deteriorated since the middle of last month, he added.

Abe said he would start a new treatment that requires regular injections, but that there was no guarantee it would work.

The 65-year-old was given a second chance as prime minister in late 2012 after newly available drugs helped him manage the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, a condition that helped bring his first stint as leader to a premature end in 2007.

Friday’s announcement came days after Abe became Japan’s longest serving prime minister, breaking the record for consecutive days in office set by his great uncle, Eisaku Sato, half a century ago.


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