During a live broadcast to the nation on Friday, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared he was leaving his post because a chronic health problem has resurfaced. Until the new leader is selected, the longest-serving Prime Minister said that nothing will change with his current obligation and will continue to serve the Japanese people.
Abe says he will again resign due to poor health https://t.co/AmA7ii5BSg— The Japan Times (@japantimes) August 28, 2020
An emotional Abe, 65, appeared during a conference to confirm his resignation to the Prime Minister Office, “I apologize from the bottom of my heart that despite all of the support from the Japanese people, I am leaving the post with one full year left in my term, and in the midst of various policies and coronavirus,” he said. Since he was a teenager, Abe suffered, ulcerative colitis which causes inflammation, and sometimes polyps in the bowels; a condition that was said controlled with treatment but may sometimes cause life threatening-complications. Associated Press revealed that the speculations about his health issues began this summer after two consecutive unspecified hospital visits happened in Tokyo hospital. The Prime minister shared that he is now on a new treatment that requires IV injections, though there is some improvement, Abe will not give much hope to its constituents that this will cure his condition thus, made up his mind to leave his post.
The scandals and controversies that surround his administration in the past years of serving Japan had tested Abe’s leadership. This decision ends the almost eight year-political stint of a political blue blood Abe, who just surpassed a half-a-century-old record of the longest consecutive days in office as Prime Minister set by his great-uncle Eisaku Sato. He had been due to head the state until September 2021. It is Mr. Abe’s second time to resign as prime minister over ill health, having previously ended a one-year stint in power in 2007 due to the same medical condition before returning to power in 2012, said by The Telegraph.
13年前、私の持病である潰瘍性大腸炎が悪化をし、わずか１年で突然、総理の職を辞することとなり、国民の皆様には大変な御迷惑をおかけいたしました。その後幸い新しい薬が効いて、体調は万全となり、そして国民の皆様から御支持をいただき、再び総理大臣の重責を担うこととなりました。 pic.twitter.com/k92xrnLOPf— 安倍晋三 (@AbeShinzo) August 28, 2020
PM Abe, a well-known figure on the global stage, has been instrumental to pull-back Japan’s economy out of recession, making it the world's third-largest economy under his leadership. His governance focuses on branding Japan as a country of “normal and beautiful” with a stronger military, a relevant, and a more significant presence in the international scene. However, as part of an established political family, Abe faced many hurdles and issues, including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy, worsening tensions between the United States and nearby China, and a firm North Korea.
With his intention to step down, some politicians are eager to step in into his role as Japan’s next PM. A list of his potential successors includes - Shigeru Ishiba, a 63-year-old hawkish former defense minister, and Abe’s archrival. Fumio Kishida, a low-key former foreign minister, Defense Minister Taro Kono, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, and Yasutoshi Nishimura, an economic revitalization minister who is in charge of coronavirus measures.
NBC News detailed the legacy of Japan's Prime Minister Abe, who's a well-celebrated foreign leader in the international stage. Abe was one of the forces behind winning the 2020 Olympics for Tokyo, which currently put in to halt due to the pandemic. He has been applauded for boosting Japan's profile and for being a steady hand during the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. In 2014, his government oversaw a historic shift, re-interpreting the country's constitution to enable Japanese troops to be able to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Part of his political legacy includes his stance on defense; Abe attempted to formally rewrite the U.S.-drafted pacifist constitution, a long-cherished goal of his grandfather. For most of his critics and his ultra-conservative supporters, this plan could be one of his biggest failures, because they see this as a humiliating legacy of Japan’s World War II defeat.