Shinzo Abe resigns as Japanese prime minister due to ill-health
Shinzo Abe resigns due to illness.
Japanese Prime Minister leaves office for health reasons.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan is about to step down due to deteriorating health. During his tenure at the helm of the world’s third largest economy, he sought to revitalize economic growth, strengthen defenses, and enhance the country‘s global profile..
«Resignation is a done deal, a source close to the Liberal Democratic Party told Reuters.
Japanese media also reported that Abe had decided to step down..
Abe has been battling ulcerative colitis for years, and two recent hospital visits over the course of a week have raised questions about whether he will be able to remain in office until the end of his term in September 2021 as ruling party leader and prime minister..
Abe was reluctant to create problems by suddenly resigning, but his health could deteriorate, Jiji news agency writes..
Against this backdrop, the Nikkei fell 2.12% to 22,717.02, while the broader Topix fell 1.00% to 1,599.70.
The resignation will provoke a leadership race in the LDP, the winner of which will be officially elected to parliament. The new party leader will remain in office until the end of Abe’s term..
Whoever wins the party struggle is likely to maintain a reflationary policy. “abenomics”, as Japan grapples with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Successor may have problems with political longevity, which is arguably Abe’s greatest achievement.
«The overall picture remains unchanged. In terms of economic and fiscal policy, the focus continues to be on reflation», – believes Jesper Call, Senior Advisor to WisdomTree Investments Management Company.
Abe broke the record for longest tenure as prime minister set by his great-uncle on Monday Eisaku Sato half a century ago.
The conservative Abe returned as prime minister for a second term in December 2012, promising to revive economic growth with his «abenomic» a mixture of super-soft monetary policy, budget spending and reforms. He also pledged to strengthen Japan’s defenses and revise the pacifist constitution..
Japan has not experienced a sharp rise in the number of cases of the virus, as seen in other countries around the world, but Abe has frustrated citizens with clumsy responses early in the pandemic and what critics see as a lack of leadership as the infection spread.
Japan suffered its biggest economic downturn in its history in the second quarter as the pandemic devastated shopping malls and reduced demand for cars and other export goods, arguing for bolder policy action to stave off a deeper recession.
Abe kept his promise to strengthen defenses by increasing military spending and expanding military capabilities.
In 2014, there was a historic moment when the Japanese government revised the constitution to allow Japanese troops to fight overseas – for the first time since World War II.
A year later, Japan passed laws overturning the ban on exercising the right to collective self-defense or the defense of a friendly country under attack..
But Abe was unable to revise the pacifist article 9 of the US postwar constitution. This mission also failed to his grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, who stepped down as prime minister in 1960 over the hype over the US-Japan security pact.
Abe stepped down from his first tenure as prime minister in 2007, citing ill health after a year of scandals in his cabinet and losing the election to his ruling party. Since then, he has maintained his health with medications..