Mr. Hiroshige Seko, a party secretary general for the Upper House of the parliament, confirmed that Mr. Abe told Liberal Democrat Party executives he is stepping down. he said that the PM has decided to resign in order not to cause trouble. Mr. Abe is scheduled to hold a news conference later.
For years, Mr. Abe has battled the disease ulcerative colitis for years and two recent hospital visits within a week fanned questions on whether he could stay in the job until the end of his term as ruling party leader, and hence premier in September 2021.
The registration will trigger a leadership race in the LDP, the winner of which must be formally elected in the parliament. The new party leader will hold the post for the rest of the PM’s term.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average fell 2.12% to 22,712.02%, while the broader Topix shed 1% to 1,599.70.
the conservative Mr. Abe returned as PM for a rare second term in December 2012, pledging to revive growth with his Abenomics mix of hyper-easy monetary policy, fiscal spending and reforms. He also pledged to beef up Japan’s defenses and aimed to revise the pacifist constitution.
He surpassed a record for longest consecutive tenure as premier set by his great-uncle Eisaku Sato half a century ago, on Monday.
Since, Mr. Abe was a teenager he is having ulcerative colitis and said the condition was controlled with treatment. He has not made clear if it is related to his recent health issues or hospital visits.
Mr. Abe has resigned from his first stint as PM in 2007, citing ill-health after a year plagued by scandals in his cabinet and a huge election loss for his ruling party. Since that he keeps on checking with medicine that was not previously available.
The PM’s support ratings are already at their worst lowest level due to his handling of the pandemic and its sever impact on the economy, on the top of a slew of political scandals.