Japan Prime Minister resignation: Special election planned for September

Japan Prime Minister resignation: Special election planned for September

After the shocking news of the longest-serving Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s resignation, an emergency election is set for his replacement.

Known for the job’s “high turnover” rate, per The New York Times, Japan Prime Minister Abe was lauded for serving the country for almost eight years. However, he officially broke the news last Friday of his step down due to health concerns.

As the news outlet cites, Abe’s step down directs Japan in political uncertainty, which should be corrected soon. An emergency election, through a special session of the parliament, is already planned mid-September, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

Who is set to be the next Japan Prime Minister?

Based on Nikkei‘s report, the PM’s right-hand man, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is in the running for the spot. Accordingly, “powerful factions” of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are already showing support for Suga.

In fact, the members of the parliament who supports Suga are meeting today. Meanwhile, the General Council of the LDP will be gathering on Tuesday.

They aim to discuss as to “how and when the process will take place.”

Furthermore, the special session of the parliament is reportedly going to take place as early as September 17. For Suga, his goal is mainly to focus on “tackling the coronavirus and the economy.”

However, per the news outlet’s poll, a Nikkei/TV Tokyo poll, Suga is actually trailing behind with only 11%. Leading the polls is Former Japanese Defence Minister Shigeru Ishiba.

Reuters also echoed the same. Nikkei’s poll tally’s Ishiba’s favorability to 28%, while the over public support reported by Reuters is summing up to 34%—based on a weekend Kyodo News survey.

Following Ishiba is current Defence Minister Taro Kono with 15%. Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi is close behind at 14%.

Japan Prime Minister Abe’s resignation

Under 65-year-old Shinzo Abe’s administration, he had led Japan in fast recovery from an earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear disaster.

He is also lauded for restoring Japan ” to a semblance of economic health,” says The New York Times. Unfortunately, due to his chronic bowel condition, he sought it best to step down.

The Guardian quotes Abe, saying:

“Poor health should not influence political decisions, and as long as I am unable to meet the expectations of the Japanese people, I have decided that I cannot stay on as prime minister and will step down.”

Abe further expressed that he doesn’t want to make mistakes in “important political decisions.”

“In politics, the most important thing is to produce results. For seven years and eight months, I have done my best to get results, but I have been struggling with my illness and I need treatment.”

Accordingly, Abe felt the announcement of his resignation was timed right, as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is now under control.


Featured image courtesy of Anthony Quintano/Flickr

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