[속보] 아베 일본 총리, 사퇴한다 Japan PM Shinzo Abe set to announce resignation amid health concerns - report

Japan PM Shinzo Abe set to announce resignation amid health concerns - report

Surprise development comes after Japanese officials were unable to quash speculation following two recent hospital visits by the prime minister

Justin McCurry in Tokyo

Fri 28 Aug 2020 06.27 BST

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is set to announce his resignation later on Friday, according to public broadcaster NHK, amid growing concerns about his health after he made two hospital visits in the space of a week.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made his most recent hospital visit on the same day he became Japan’s longest-serving leader Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images


아베 일본 총리, 사퇴한다

   아베 신조(安倍晋三) 일본 총리가 1주일 만에 두 차례 병원을 찾은 뒤 건강에 대한 우려가 커지고 있는 가운데 아베 신조(安倍晋三) 일본 총리가 28일 오후 사의를 표명할 예정이라고 공영방송 NHK가 보도했다.

앞서 집권 자민당 관계자들은 아베 총리의 건강 상태를 둘러싼 루머가 돌면서 2021년 9월로 예정됐던 임기를 마치지 못할 것이라는 추측을 잠재우려 했다.

아베 총리의 총리대행은 아소 다로 재무상 부총리이지만 그의 사임으로 자민당 내 주도권 경쟁에 불을 붙일 것이 거의 확실시된다.

아베 총리의 병원 방문 중 한 곳은 8시간 가까이 이어졌으며, 2007년 총리 재임 중 불과 1년 만에 강제 퇴장시킨 만성질환인 궤양성 대장염을 앓고 있는 것으로 알려졌다.

아베 총리는 반세기 전 큰아버지 사토 에이사쿠(사토 에이사쿠)가 세운 재임일 연속 기록을 갈아치우며 일본 최장수 지도자가 된 이날 가장 최근 병원을 찾았다.

자민당 지지자들은 이번 주 아베 총리가 2021년 9월 임기가 끝날 때까지 총리직을 수행할 것이라고 주장했다.

한편 고노 방위상은 빠른 의사 결정 능력과 솔직한 발언으로 국민들로부터 호평을 받았다. 아베 신조 총리의 뒤를 이을 후보로 일부 여론조사에서 높은 순위를 기록하고 있다.

황기철 콘페이퍼 에디터

Ki Chul Hwang Conpaper editor curator

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Officials from the governing Liberal Democratic party (LDP) had earlier attempted to quash speculation that Abe may be unable to serve out his term, which was due to end in September 2021, as rumours swirled around the state of his health.

Abe’s deputy, the gaffe-prone finance minister, Taro Aso, is expected take over as acting prime minister, but his resignation is almost certain to spark a leadership race in the LDP.

One of Abe’s hospital visits lasted almost eight hours, and he is known to suffer from ulcerative colitis, a chronic condition that was partly responsible for forcing him out of office after just a year during his previous term as prime minister in 2007.

Abe made his most recent hospital visit on the same day he became Japan’s longest-serving leader, breaking the record for consecutive days in office set by his great uncle, Eisaku Sato, half a century ago.

LDP allies insisted this week that Abe would carry on until his term as party president – and as prime minister – ends in September 2021.

The government’s chief spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said he met Abe twice a day and had not noticed anything that indicated he was in poor health. “It’s premature to talk about ‘post-Abe’, as he still has over a year left in his term,” Suga said this week.

A senior LDP member told Kyodo that Abe’s condition appeared to have flared up again but that he was “already on the mend”. The official, who was not named, added: “I cannot imagine he will step down.”

Akira Amari, a senior party official and close ally, said Abe appeared much healthier than the last time he saw him in mid-August. Abe was “probably exhausted mentally”, Amari said in an interview with Reuters, adding that his “voice was stronger and the colour had returned to his skin” when he appeared on TV on Monday.

Media quoted government sources as saying Abe would consult doctors again – possibly over the phone – on Friday before he is due to speak to reporters at 5pm local time.

He is also expected to defend his handling of the coronavirus pandemic amid an apparent second wave of new infections in Tokyo and other urban centres.

Defense Minister Taro Kono speaks to reporters at a news conference held at the Defense Ministry in July. | 


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Abe, who has not briefed the media on Covid-19 since mid-June, will reportedly outline new measures to fight the pandemic, including a pledge to secure enough vaccine – if one is available – for the country’s entire population by early next year.

The availability of a vaccine is a key factor that could decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed until summer 2021 due to the pandemic.

Abe, who turns 66 next month, has so far said little publicly about his visits to Keio university hospital, telling reporters this week only that he wanted to look after his health and get on with his job.

He has not indicated if his recent health issues were connected to his bowel condition, which has affected him since his teens.

When he became prime minister for a second time in late 2012, Abe said he was able to control symptoms with drugs that had not been available during his first period in office.

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