Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigns over health issues

Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, said Friday he is venturing down on the grounds that a ceaseless medical issue has reemerged. He told correspondents that it was “painful” to leave a significant number of his objectives incomplete.

“I cannot be prime minister if I cannot make the best decisions for the people. I have decided to step down from my post,” Shinzo Abe, 65, told a news conference.

Shinzo Abe has battled the disease ulcerative colitis for years and two recent hospital visits within a week had fanned questions on whether he could stay in the job until the end of his term as a ruling party leader, and hence, premier, in September 2021.

 Abe said “now is the best time to step down” as number of COVID-19 infections in Japan have decreased in recent days and new measures for winter have been compiled.

> “I would like to use all my experience as a lawmaker to continue to fulfil my duties as a member of the Lower House,” Abe said, when asked about his future plans.

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