Abe has set the record for serving the most consecutive terms as Prime Minister in Japanese history.
Prime Minister Abe made the announcement that he is suffering from a recurrence of ulcerative colitis which had ended his first term in office.
Abe said he was receiving a new treatment for the condition, which needed to be administered on a regular basis which would not leave him with sufficient time to discharge his duties.
“Now that I am not able to fulfil the mandate from the people with confidence, I have decided that I should no longer occupy the position of the prime minister.”
Source: News 18
Watch a clip where Prime Minister Abe gets emotional as he says that he cannot continue serving due to his health:
Abe will stay in office until his Liberal Democratic Party chooses a successor in an election that will take place with party members and lawmakers. No one has yet been named as a clear favorite, but likely candidates include Finance Minister Taro Aso and chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga.
Prime Minister Abe is a nationalist who “thinks big.”
According to The Diplomat, Abe leaves behind ” a rich legacy in the Asia-Pacific, helping set the geostrategic agenda for the region in face of growing Chinese aggressiveness.”
Widely seen as the architect of the “quad” – a four-nation strategic consultation framework involving the U.S., Australia, Japan, and India – Abe’s tenure saw Tokyo cultivate deep relations with New Delhi. Most significantly, Abe led the way for the emergence of the “Indo-Pacific,” an expansive geostrategic construct which seeks to manage the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific as a single integrated theater…
…In 2012, Abe proposed what later began to be called the quad. In an article rich with strategic ideation, he wrote: “I envisage a strategy whereby Australia, India, Japan, and the US state of Hawaii form a diamond to safeguard the maritime commons stretching from the Indian Ocean region to the western Pacific.” Over the last couple of years, the quad has emerged as a key consultative mechanism to triangulate emerging challenges in the Indo-Pacific. In a 2007 speech in the Indian parliament Abe spoke of the “Confluence of Two Seas,” the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. This later morphed into his “Two Continents, Two Oceans” proposal where Africa and Asia would be linked together as a single economic and strategic entity. In order to give shape to this idea, Japan and India committed to develop a maritime Asia-Africa Growth Corridor in 2016 as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) even when Japan continued to shrewdly hedge its bets when it came to the BRI.
Source: The Diplomat
It’s not quite correct to call Abe “Japan’s Trump”–only Trump is Trump–but he is a nationalist and has a very different vision than the globalist one and he isn’t afraid to push for big goals.
Perhaps that’s why President Trump and Prime Minister Abe really hit it off. According to The Washington Post, “Abe is known to be one of a few Western leaders that Trump is fond of.”
We all remember the Koi controversy when President Trump went to visit Japan, right?
With Prime Minister Abe stepping down, President Trump will lose a key ally who shares his concern for China’s growing aggressiveness.