Tokyo: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to resign on health grounds

The official announcement is scheduled for later today. Abe had already resigned in 2007 due to intestinal problems. In the last month he went to the hospital several times. Criticized for his handling of the pandemic, his approval rate has plummeted. The race for succession begins.

Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will resign today for health reasons, national press revealed this this morning, citing sources inside the Liberal Democratic Party. Abe has been in office since 2012, becoming the longest uninterrupted prime minister in the country's history on August 24. Already at the head of the government from 2006 to 2007, he had left office due to continuing intestinal problems.

After vomiting blood in his office in early July, the 65-year-old Japanese leader went to the hospital several times for check-ups, fuelling rumours of his poor health.

Abe is considered an element of stability in the national political landscape. However, his economic policies (Abenomics) have not managed to drag the country out of a long period of stagnation.

According to a Kyodo News poll carried out in July, 59% of respondents are not satisfied with the measures taken by the premier against Covid-19. In August, his government's approval rate plummeted to 36% from 62% at the start of his second term.

The most popular names to take over leadership are those of Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Taro Kono. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, son of the popular former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, are also in the race.