Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announces resignation

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announces resignation

It noted that Abe has left "various meaningful accomplishments" as Japan's longest-serving prime minister.

He also cited health reasons that time, but his resignation came after a series of scandals in his Cabinet and a huge election loss for his ruling party.

"I was fortunate enough to visit Japan a year ago, and during my summit meeting with Prime Minister Abe we discussed the deepening relationship between our countries". A career LDP politician, he is the grandson of Nobusuke Kishi, who himself was prime minister of Japan from 1957 to 1960.

In 2012, Ishiba beat Abe in a first-round party poll that included rank-and-file members but he failed to win a majority and lost in a run-off, when only MPs voted.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted he had "achieved great things".

However, a series of scandals - including the government's loss of pension records, affecting about 50 million claims - affected his administration.

Abe, who started his second stint as prime minister in December 2012, has been known for successfully building personal ties with Trump, a real estate developer-turned-reality TV star who won the US presidential election in 2016.

While he insists he is not seeking the LDP leadership, many believe he could have the inside track to succeed Shinzo Abe. At home, the prime minister repeatedly tried to change the nature of the country's pacifist constitution that bans Japan from deploying military overseas - again, to no avail.

Abe's star has waned further in recent months with his pandemic handling criticised as confused and slow, driving his approval ratings down to some of the lowest of his tenure.

There have also been concerns that the "Go to Travel" campaign aimed at boosting domestic tourism has led to a resurgence of Covid-19.

The scheme to revive Japan's long-stalled economy - still the world's third biggest, but more than two decades into stagnation - involved vast government spending, massive monetary easing and the cutting of red tape.

He noted that his health began to deteriorate in mid-July. He is the son of the charismatic Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and the public loves him too.

Jun Azumi of the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan questioned whether the prime minister's health was interfering with his duties.

"In a challenging global and regional environment, Prime Minister Abe's personal leadership and Free and Open Indo-Pacific vision has been important in upholding the values that New Zealand and Japan share".

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