Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s longest-serving premier, said on Friday he was resigning because of poor health, ending a stint at the helm of the world’s third-biggest economy during which he sought to revive growth and bolster its defences.
“I cannot be prime minister if I cannot make the best decisions for the people. I have decided to step down from my post,” Abe, 65, told a news conference.
Abe has battled the disease ulcerative colitis for years and two recent hospital visits within a week had fanned questions on whether he could stay in the job until the end of his term as ruling party leader, and hence, premier, in September 2021.
As news of the resignation spread, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average fell 2.12% to 22,717.02, while the broader Topix shed 1.00% to 1,599.70. The selling wiped $4.7 billion off
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