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Alexander Nyarko Yeboah – GITFIConline.com
The Japanese Prime Minister (PM) has announced his intension to quit his job as the leading political figure in one of the best economies in the world.
This decision of Shinzo Abe comes on the hills of years of battling with chronic illness ulcerative colitis which is taking a toll on his health.
The PM made this known on Friday in a press conference in which he informed of his decision to resign ahead of the expiration of his tenure which would have been in September.
According to AFP/reuters, the 65 year old PM informed that he had begun having renewed fatigue in mid-July and felt it was time to say good bye.
Mr. Abe had previously resigned as PM of Japan also on health grounds in 2007 after just a year in office even though some cited other reasons for his resignation.
Even though he is quiting ahead of his time, Mr. Abe has beaten the record for the longest consecutive period in office set by his own great uncle, Eisaku Sato .
His decision to quit would begin a leadership race in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and the winner, who must be formally elected in parliament, will hold the post of PM until the end of Abe’s term in September.
Mr. Abe, a right-wing conservative, came to power for a second time in 2012. However, he had recently seen his popularity fall to one of the lowest levels of his tenure.
One of his strongest setbacks was how he managed the response to the corona virus pandemic with many thinking that he prioritized the economy over health and had not shown enough leadership.
His popularity took a nose dive with the arrest of former justice minister and his wife on suspicion of vote-buying, and his flagship policy of “Abenomics,” which promoted bold monetary easing and fiscal spending, had met a lot of obstacles in the midst of falling exports due to the US-China trade war.
It is also believed that the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the economy badly with Japan experiencing a third straight quarter of declines.