Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to stand down over health concerns

Shinzo Abe political survivor dogged by health issues

Shinzo Abe political survivor dogged by health issues

Abe's term was set to expire in September 2021. The Korean letters read " Worrying for a month".

North Korea may be carefully watching who will succeed Shinzo Abe after the Japanese prime minister, who had made resolving the abduction issue a major goal in his political career, expressed his intention to step down on Friday, diplomats said.

Explaining his decision earlier in the day, Shinzo Abe said he feared the illness would affect his decision-making.

"It is gut wrenching to have to leave my job before accomplishing my goals", Abe said Friday, mentioning his failure to resolve the issue of Japanese abducted years ago by North Korea, a territorial dispute with Russian Federation and a revision of Japan's war-renouncing constitution.

After his recent hospital visits were reported, top officials from Abe's Cabinet and the ruling party said he was overworked and badly needed rest.

As an elderly politician, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso could be a stop-gap arrangement till the next elections when Shinjiro Koizumi from the young brigade and Fumio Kishida, Taro Kono and Yoshihide Suga among the seniors will stake claim.

Abe, who stepped down as prime minister just one year into his first term, in 2007, offered his apologies for the second resignation.

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We need to support them", Powell said Thursday at a virtual iteration of the Kansas City Fed's annual Jackson Hole conference. The White House team rejected the compromise, causing the talks to break down.

1979 - Starts working at Kobe Steel.

Following his father's death in 1991, Abe was elected to the lower house in 1993.

The Japanese leader has been quoted as saying that his resignation is meant to have a limited impact on the ruling party and he will continue in his role until a successor is chosen.

According to the New York Times, Abe - who has served as prime minister since 2012 - "told reporters that he had suffered a relapse of the bowel disease".

2013 - Embarks on his "Abenomics" policies to encourage growth through easy lending and structural reforms. During his tenure, he oversaw Japan's recovery from a devastating quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, restored a semblance of economic health and curried favor with an unpredictable American president, Donald Trump.

Mr Abe this week became the nation's longest serving prime minister in consecutive days, an achievement overshadowed by persistent speculation surrounding his health.

The departure, coming amid the COVID-19 pandemic and Japan's first recession since 2015, adds "uncertainty to troubled times", says Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a professor in political science at Hong Kong Baptist University.

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