Long serving Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has announced his resignation as Prime Minister over health related issues.
The 65 year-old announced he will be stepping down from his position after eight-year stint in power due to ill health amid reports he had been vomiting blood.
He made this announcement on Friday August 28, during a press briefing, where stated that he had suffered a relapse of a chronic bowel condition -saying he had ‘lost a lot of his energy and strength’ and would need regular medical treatment that would prevent him from tackling the Coronavirus crisis.
“I have been struggling with my illness and I have to get treatment. Poor health should not lead to wrong political decisions”, he was quoted as saying.
Speculation about the Prime Minister’s health started after he made several visits to a Tokyo hospital in the space of one week.
According to reports, the leading candidates to replace Mr. Abe include Taro Aso, the long-serving deputy prime minister, and a former prime minister; Yoshihide Suga, the chief cabinet secretary to Mr. Abe; Shigeru Ishiba, a former defense minister who once ran against Mr. Abe for party leader; Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister; and Taro Kono, the current foreign minister.
Abe who suffers from colitis, a non-curable inflammatory bowel disease, resigned during his first stint as the country’s leader from 2006 to 2007 before he became Prime Minister again in 2012.