Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister, resigns

SHINZO Abe, Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister, resigns due to health issues.

The premier has suffered from ulcerative colitis for years however his health declined around the middle of last month with him attending hospital appointment multiple times in this past week.

Ulcerative Colitis is a long-term condition where the bowel becomes inflamed.

In a news conference the PM 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.”

“It is gut-wrenching to have to leave my job before accomplishing my goals.” He continued.

Abe, 65, is resigning after an impressive seven years and eight months at the front of Japanese politics.

Abe spoke of his disappointment that he will not be able to see his largest political goal for Japan come to fruition under his leadership.

He said, “It is a pity that I was unable to resolve the abduction issue myself. It breaks my heart to leave office without realising my ambition of signing a peace treaty with Russia, passing a constitutional amendment,”

Since the end of World War II, Japan and Russia have never been able to sign a treaty and have had disputes over territory for decades.

While announcing his resignation Mr Abe made the unconventional move to speak without the use of a teleprompter. Instead he addressed questions from the news conference.

Mr Abe expressed clearly that he would “firmly execute my duty to the end” until a replacement was chosen.

The announcement of his resignation will automatically trigger a vote within his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to replace him and the party will decide next Tuesday how to hold an election.

A range of potential successors are now emerging from the side lines to take the reins, including Deputy Prime Minister, Taro Aso, Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, and Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Fumio Kishida, who is rumoured to be Mr Abe’s preferred choice for the role.

The successor would hold the position at least until the end of Mr Abe’s current term, which will end in September 2021.

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Chris Kidd

Chris has spent a colourful and varied international career in the Arts followed by a substantial career in Education. Having moved to Spain in 2019 for a different pace and quality of life with his fiancé, he has now taken up a new and exciting role working with the online department of Euro Weekly News. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page