Tokyo, Aug 28 (efe-epa).- Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Friday announced his intention to resign soon due to health reasons, kicking off a period of discussions during the next few weeks to elect his successor.
Speculation about Abe’s health status had intensified recently following the prime minister’s recent visits to a hospital in the capital and some reports of health problems.
The prime minister said in a press conference that he was resigning as his health conditions were not perfect and poor health could lead to erroneous political decisions.
Abe, 65, said the chronic ulcerative colitis that had forced him to resign during his first tenure (2006-2007) had worsened recently, and the treatment required continuous and careful monitoring of his health.
Talking to journalists at his office, Abe recalled that although the ailment had led to his resignation 13 years ago, he was able to overcome it, thanks to a new medication, and assume office again in 2012.
However, during a regular checkup in July signs were detected of a relapsing illness, and the leader has been undergoing new treatment.
Abe said his health had deteriorated resulting in weakness, and he had decided to resign as it was impossible to get the “desired results” while running the government.
Despite repeated questions from journalists, the prime minister did not reveal anything about his possible successor, set to be nominated by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
The LDP is expected to open discussions immediately after the announcement for electing its next prime ministerial candidate, whose appointment has to be approved by the lower house of the parliament.
After Abe’s resignation in 2007, the process had been completed within two weeks of his announcement.
Abe’s term as leader of the LDP and head of the government was set to expire in September 2021. EFE-EPA