Japan's Premier Shinzo Abe set to resign due to health issues

Japan's Premier Shinzo Abe set to resign due to health issues

Japan's PM will step down due to health concerns, local media reported Friday, citing a source from his party.

His remarks were echoed on Wednesday by the Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who said Abe looked a "bit tired" over the last two weeks but seemed "very well" on Tuesday and "gave us various instructions in the usual manner".

Japan's PM Shinzo Abe is to announce his resignation over health issues, local media reported.

Abe will remain Prime Minister until the part has chosen a successor.

Other policies have included an expansion of Japan's military defenses.

"Abe intends to resign as his illness has worsened and he worries it will cause trouble" in leading the country, national broadcaster NHK said.

The Prime Minister's Office said on Friday the report could not be immediately confirmed, but that Abe was believed to be meeting top ruling officials at the party headquarters.

'Even though public support has fallen sharply, levels above 30 percent are not bad for a Japanese prime minister, ' he said.

Mr. Abe, the grandson of a prime minister accused of war crimes and the son of a former foreign minister, began his first, yearlong stint as prime minister in 2006.

Abe, 65, is Japan's longest-serving leader. He also stepped up patriotic education at schools and raised Japan's worldwide profile.

But his second hospital visit on Monday eclipsed festivity for his record and has accelerated speculation and political manoeuvring toward a post-Abe regime.

It is not clear whether that condition is related to his recent health issues or hospital visits. People with the condition can have a normal life expectancy but serious cases can involve life-threatening complications.

The Japanese Government's handling of the pandemic has been far from universally popular, with a poll from news agency Kyodo earlier this month reporting that the Cabinet had only a 36 er cent approval rating.

There are a slew of politicians eager to replace Abe.

The governing Liberal Democratic Party is expected to appoint an interim leader who will serve until the party can hold a leadership election.

A vehicle carrying Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) arrives on August 24, 2020, at Keio University Hospital in Tokyo, where he received what an aide called "a regular health checkup" a week earlier amid speculation about his health. But she would have to first be elected to parliament to be in the running for the top job.

Abe recently appeared in public at 75th anniversary events to mark the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki - although he was criticised for making near-identical speeches.

When he returned to office in 2012, Abe vowed to revitalise the nation and get its economy out of its deflationary doldrums with his "Abenomics" formula, which combines fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural reforms.

Perhaps Abe's biggest failure was his inability to fulfil a long-cherished goal of his grandfather to formally rewrite the US-drafted pacifist constitution.

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