Japanese PM Shinzo Abe resigns over poor health

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe resigns over poor health

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe resigns over poor health

Japanese PM resigns over poor health.

The PM said he was stepping down because of poor health, ending a stint at the helm of the world’s third-biggest economy.

Speaking at a news conference, Abe said:

“I cannot be prime minister if I cannot make the best decisions for the people. I have decided to step down from my post.”

The 65-year old leader has been battling with ulcerative colitis for years.

The PM made two recent hospital visits within one week which fueled questions on whether he could stay in the job until the end of his term as ruling party leader, and hence, premier, in September 2021.

On Monday, Abe surpassed a record for longest consecutive tenure as premier set by his great-uncle Eisaku Sato half a century ago.

The conservative Abe returned as prime minister for a rare second term in December 2012, pledging to revive growth with his “Abenomics” mix of hyper-easy monetary policy, fiscal spending and reforms. He also pledged to beef up Japan’s defences and aimed to revise the pacifist constitution.

Under fire for his handling of the coronavirus and scandals among party members, Abe has recently seen his support fall to one of the lowest levels of his nearly eight years in office.

Abe resigned from his first stint as prime minister in 2007, citing ill-health after a year plagued by scandals in his cabinet and a huge election loss for his ruling party.

He had since kept his illness in check with medicine that was not previously available.