After seven years and eight months at the helm, Shinzo Abe was the longest serving PM in Japan’s history.
However, Abe has decided to resign citing ‘health reasons’ and apologised ‘from the bottom of my heart’ to his compatriots.
Abe has been suffering from ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory chronic disease, for many years. The prime minister himself revealed that his condition started to worsen around the middle of the last month, possibly prompting him to consider stepping down.
“I will not be able to make proper judgments due to illness,” he said.
“It is a pity that I was unable to resolve the abduction issue myself. It breaks my heart to leave office without realizing my ambition of signing a peace treaty with Russia, passing a constitutional amendment,” Abe told.
Since World War Two ended, Japan and Russia never signed an agreement and have disputed territories for decades, mostly at the height of the Cold War.
Mr. Abe will remain in office until his successor is appointed.
Abe is the grandson of Nobusuke Kishi, who himself was prime minister of Japan from 1957 to 1960.
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