Japan's Prime Minister Abe resigns

30 August 2020

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday, 28 August, said he will resign due to a flare-up of his chronic intestinal disease. This will end his nearly eight-year stint as Japan's longest-serving leader.

"As I am no longer in a condition to respond confidently to the mandate of the people, I have decided I should not stay in the prime minister's post," the 65-year-old said at a nationally televised press conference.

Mr Norio Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan to South Africa responded to President Abe’s announcement saying, “Although it is due to his health, it is with a sentiment of regret that I learned of the announcement. During his tenure for seven years and eight months, Prime Minister Abe has made significant achievements.

“With his own strong commitment for establishing closer relations with Africa, Prime Minister Abe made significant efforts to strengthen these relations by promoting Public-Private Partnerships.

“He is the only Prime Minister of Japan who hosted three TICAD meetings.

“As for his efforts to enhance our bilateral relations, I would like to emphasize his significant efforts, among other issues, to promote investments by Japanese companies to South Africa.

“We will firmly assure the continuity of what he had achieved.”

Abe said he will remain in office until his successor is chosen by the ruling party and he said he plans to continue his political career.