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Japanese PM Shinzo Abe Resigns due to Health Reasons, To Continue as PM until a Successor is Chosen

  • Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe has announced his resignation from the prime ministerial position. The 65-year old Japanese Prime Minister has said that he has decided to resign because his health condition due to his long-time ailment from ulcerative colitis has worsened recently. Abe is the longest-serving PM of Japan, whose current period in the prime ministerial office started in 2012. He has decided to continue in this position till a successor is chosen. In 2007 too he resigned from his position abruptly because of this inflammatory bowel disease called ulcerative colitis, from which Shinzo Abe is suffering since 2012. The Japanese PM is known for his “Abenomics”, which reportedly stimulated economic growth with the help of his aggressive economic policy. A staunch conservative and nationalist, Abe is credited for strengthening Japan's defenses and boosting military spending. In his statement, Shinzo Abe said: “I would like to sincerely apologize 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.” He regretted not being able to fulfill his core pledges such as to make North Korea return citizens of Japan who were abducted by them decades ago, sort out a territorial dispute with Russia, and overhaul the constitution for giving more power to the military. US President Donald Trump has told media that he is feeling bad about Shinzo Abe deciding to step down from the prime ministerial position due to health reasons. While paying his highest respects to Abe, Trump called him a great friend.  China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said: “In recent years, the relationship between China and Japan has returned to the right track and achieved new developments ... We express a positive assessment of the important efforts made by Prime Minister Abe to achieve these ends and at the same time wish him a speedy recovery.”