The national broadcaster of Japan NHK reported on Friday that the Prime Minister of the country Shinzo Abe has decided to resign from his post due to his deteriorating health.
It is known that he has been suffering from ulcerative colitis for many years and it is believed that the condition has worsened recently.
The 65-year-old political leader took the decision as he did not want to cause any problems for the government with his health condition.
He has recently become the longest consecutive serving prime minister of Japan after his great-uncle Eisaku Sato since he first took office in 2012.
He has been suffering from the chronic disease that affects the large intestine since he was a teenager. The condition has caused him to resign from his term as prime minister before back in 2007.
Mr. Abe was supposed to serve the office until September 2021. But recently his worsening health condition made headlines after his frequent hospital visits with one, in particular, lasting for nearly eight hours.
His two hospital visits in one week sparked questions all over the country on whether he will be able to continue his tenure until the end of his term in September, next year.
His governing party Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) had been dismissing the rumors that he would be resigning previously assuring people that his health condition was fine.
According to Reuters, one of Mr. Abe’s aides reported earlier that he will be able to complete his tenure.
The head of the LDP’s tax panel, Akira Amari rejected all the speculations about the prime minister dissolving parliament’s lower house for a snap election.
But still, people were concerned about his health due to his handling of the pandemic situation. His approval ratings for his cabinet have also dropped recently.
According to Japanese law, a temporary acting prime minister would be appointed at Mr. Abe’s stead. The temporary PM does not have a particular time limit of how long they will be serving.
The first one in the line to fulfill the role is Deputy Prime Minister and finance minister Taro Aso, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga being second in the line.
Though the acting prime minister cannot hold a snap election, they can decide upon the matters of treaties and budgets until a new party leader and the prime minister is selected.
After Mr. Abe officially resigns, a vote within the Liberal Democratic Party will be held to choose a new president. Then a parliamentary vote will take place to elect the new prime minister of the country.
The newly-elected PM will be serving the post until the end of Shinzo Abe’s term in September 2021.
Mr. Abe is likely to hold a press conference later to address the situation of his resignation.