Japan's Prime Minister Resigns

By Caryl Nivera

  Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister has resigned due to an illness. 

Shinzo Abe is a Japanese politician from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). After his first year in office in 2007, he resigned because of his struggle with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. Recovered from the illness before, Abe redeemed himself by making an unexpected political comeback, which then made him the first former Prime Minister to return to office. Abe’s illness has been around since he was a teenager, but recently it has worsened, making it a burden to his decision making. Despite that, he strengthened ties with Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and the Philippines in terms of political, security and economy and has improved relations with India. “His three-day visit to India in August 2007 inaugurated a new biliteral Asian alliance, building on the long history of friendly bilateral relation between India and Japan,” according to Wikipedia. He has also strengthened Japan’s defences against threats.

 

During his departure, he spoke without a teleprompter and looked drained. Mr. Abe expressed remorse to revise Japan’s pacifist Article 9 somehow, which disables a standing army besides for self-defence, and force North Korea to bring Japanese civilians back after decades and resolve territorial dispute with Russia in the Northeast of Japan. His nationalist views caused conflict among neighboring countries: China and South Korea. “Peers” to him, like Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga or Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso are not popular amongst voters as his administration faced criticism for its “failure” in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re also said to be “potential successors.” Next week, on Tuesday, the LDP will decide to hold elections amidst the pandemic, according to Kyodo news agency. For now, Mr. Abe will still be in office until a replacement will seize. 

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