An apologetic Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced he will step down after a record seven years and eight months as leader citing ill-health after a recurrence of ulcerative colitis.
Abe announced his resignation in a news conference on Friday, in which he addressed his health after two recent hospital visits. The 65-year-old said he wanted to avoid causing problems to the government because of his worsening condition.
“I have decided to step down from the post of the prime minister,” Abe said, saying he was suffering from the same condition that ended his first term in office. “I cannot be prime minister if I cannot make the best decisions for the people.”
Abe has battled 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 ruling party leader, and hence, premier, in September 2021.”I would like to sincerely apologise 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,” said Abe, bowing deeply.