The Prime Minister of Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, Shinzo Abe, on Friday announced that he will be stepping aside due to health problems.
Speaking in a press conference, the Japan PM stated that he was suffering from a recurrence of the ulcerative colitis that ended his first term in office.
“I have decided to step down from the post of the prime minister,” he said.
Abe said he was receiving a new treatment for the condition, which needed to be administered on a regular basis which would not leave him with sufficient time to discharge his duties.
“Now that I am not able to fulfil the mandate from the people with confidence, I have decided that I should no longer occupy the position of the prime minister.”
Abe’s resignation is set to spark a tussle for the Japam PM seat.
However, Abe is expected to stay in office until his ruling Liberal Democratic Party can choose a successor.
Likely candidates to succeed Abe include Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga, Defence Minister Taro Kono, former defence minister Shigeru Ishiba, former foreign minister Fumio Kishida.
Abe, who stepped down as prime minister just one year into his first term, in 2007, offered his apologies for the second resignation.
“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,” Abe said.