Longest-serving Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Resigns Citing Reoccurring Illness

The image shows Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned, citing chronic health concerns. Last year, he became Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, serving his current period in office since 2012.

This isn’t the first time Mr. Abe has resigned as Japan’s prime minister for health reasons. He left a previous term in 2007 for similar chronic health reasons.

Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access says, “He said That he cannot continue to serve in this capacity with his physical condition reoccurring and having major treatment at the same time. [He can’t] respond to the needs that we’re facing currently, not only as Japanese but as a world.”

Accomplishments and goals as prime minister

Mr. Abe has led Japan through the COVID-19 pandemic, including the difficult decision to delay the Olympic Games to 2021. As he is stepping down, his party, the Liberal Democratic Party, will choose a successor.

Mr. Abe had a long list of goals that he won’t be able to accomplish after stepping down, like making North Korea return abducted Japanese citizens, and grappling over territorial disputes with Russia. He also wanted to amend Japan’s constitution to give more power to the military. After World War II, Japan took drastic steps to limit its military power, having armed forces only for self-defense.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller


  • Asian Access seeks to make disciples for Christ in Japan. Pray their work would be fruitful.
  • Pray Japan’s next prime minister would be able to navigate the country’s many challenges, especially COVID-19.