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Japan’s Abe steps down due to health concerns

Japan’s Abe steps down due to health concerns

The prime minister will stay in power until his replacement is named

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation due to health reasons. The 65-years-old suffers from ulcerative colitis an inflammatory bowel disease. He will continue as the prime minister until his replacement is named. His current stint in the office, which started in 2012, is the longest for any prime minister of Japan.

Abe has had the disease since teens but said that it has now gotten worse. He has previously resigned from the premiership as well due to the same condition. Considered to be a staunch nationalist and conservative, his brand of economic policies are known as “Abenomics.”

Abe left the office with an apology to the people for stepping down a year before the end of his term. He regretted not being able to see through the complete implementation of some of the under process policies.

“I made a judgement I should not continue my job as a prime minister,” he said. “I would like to sincerely apologise to the people of Japan for leaving my post with one year left in my term of office, and amid the coronavirus woes, while various policies are still in the process of being implemented.”

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will decide on the future course of action for the prime minister’s election on coming Tuesday. After the internal election of the party, a parliamentary vote will take place to decide the next prime minister of the country. The term of the new PM will continue until September, 2021, the official end of Abe’s term.

There are some names making rounds in political circles as potential replacements. These include Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, and LDP policy Chief Fumio Kishida. Kishida is reportedly the preferred choice of Abe.

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