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#Japan #Abe news conference in progress.
"I have been able to serve for the past 8 years with my illness." in June checkup symptoms appeared again.
In politics there's nothing more important than delivering results. I have devoted my all to the job in the last 7 years and 8 months. #PM #Japan.
I have concluded I should no longer serve as the Prime Minister.
For this reason I am stepping down as the Prime Minister.
#Abe #Japan
"I have concluded given the COVID-19 and other challenges now would be the best timing." "I would like to thank the public for their support.... and apologize for not being able to fulfill the remaining term of office. It breaks my heart to leave office with many.."
"...unfilled promises. That includes North Korean abductee issue, peace treaty with Russia and others. For nearly 8 years, thank you for your support."
Reporter "Would it not have been an option to continue serving while getting treatment? Is there a need for hospital visits? There may be criticism for abandoning the office." #Japan #resignation #Abe
Prime Minister Abe "I'm on a new med. Exams show that it is working. Yes, continuing to serve was an option that I considered. However, there will be major party events in September. My intention was to avoid a political vacuum given COVID-19 and others."
"I made the decision following my visit with the doctor on Monday this week. Another consideration was the COVID-19 seems to be slowing down. And the LDP party chief selection process." #Abeshinzo
"Who the next LDP chief should be is not for me to comment. It's up to the party.
Reporter "What are the most notable legacies of yours?"
#Abeshinzon "It's up to the people or up to history to make that judgement. Initially I focused on revitalizing Tohoku after its devastation in the great earthquake. On the economic front, 4 million jobs have been created."
"National security law. US president's visit to Hiroshima. With the US-Japan alliance at its core, building a global fair and free economic zone with Japan playing a central role. however, abductee issue, peace with Russia, and amending the Constitution remain unfinished." #Abe
#Abeshinzo is holding a news conference 5:23 pm Japan Time. Reporter "What are the wishes for the next administration? How do you evaluate the potential successors?" Abe "It's not appropriate for me to comment. But the successor will need to focus on controlling COVID."
"All those whose names are being mentioned (as a potential successor) are all well qualified." #Abeshinzo #LDP
Reporter "You mentioned peace with Russia as one regret you have, unfinished business. What would you have done differently in retrospect?"
Abe "On North Korean abductee issue. We explored all possible approaches. It is now recognized as an international issue. It was mentioned in a meeting between US and NK leaders. Also with ROK president. But the issue still remains unresolved. Have explored everything."
Reporter "you have made a record as the longest serving. There are negative legacies. Such as falsification of public records. Do you feel you have fulfilled your responsibility to be accountable and keep public records?"
Abe "whether it is 'sufficient' or not is up to the public
Reporter "You are also a leader of the largest faction within LDP. How would you approach the LDP president selection process? WOuld you set a precondition for support?"
Abe "Seiwa-ka faction. There will be discussions within that group. However, I am about to be the ex PM."
"So it is not appropriate for me to participate in the discussion or to attempt to influence the process in any way."
Reporter "You mentioned earlier that you will be involved in politics as a member of parliament. Are there any particular issues you will be focused on? Will you run again?"
Abe "My focus is to get my health condition under control and continue to serve as a MP."
Abe "About the next Lower House election. It's up to the people. For me, I am just committed to continue to serve as a member of the legislature."
Reporter "What do you think are the qualities needed for PM?" Abe "Must have a vision, responsibility"
#Abeshinzo Reporter "COVID-19 has been a big issue. Are there anything you regret or you think what worked well?"
Abe "COVID-19 started in Wuhan, China. Initially we got people evacuate there and then the cruise ship crisis came. We did the best we can at each stage."
Abe "I must acknowledge criticism, too. Among others, the mask shortage and distribution of masks. Japan's infection and mortality is relatively low compared to other nations. The economic impact is less severe than some other countries."
Reporter "You have been working nearly non-stop. Some have suggested that you should have rested. Any thought?"
Abe "Managing one's health is part of the responsibilities that come with the office. Fighting COVID-19, the novel virus, was challenging."
Reporter "Amending the constitution. Which remains unfinished though you have been in office for a long time. What is the prospect now?"
Abe "Within in our party, we identified 4 core points. However, there is not enough public support that I have to acknowledge."
Abe "Members of the parliament must take the lead (on amending the constitution)".
Reporter "Previously you faced criticism for quitting."
Abe "I am leaving office before the term is up so I must accept such criticism. However, I have thought carefully about the timing. "
Abe "The situation under which I am resigning is different from the previous time. I chose this timing to minimize disruption."
Reporter "Regional revitalization has been one of the core issues." Abe "I agree that no 'paradigm shift' has been achieved. Tokyo keeps growing."
#Abeshinzo is holding a news conference and answering reporters' questions after announcing that he is stepping down as the Prime Minister of Japan.
#Abeshinzo news conference in progress.
Abe "COVID-19 might be an opportunity for regional revitalization." Reporter "You mentioned Obama's visit to Hiroshima as one of your legacies. You have also met with survivors of Hiroshima and war."
Abe "Abolishing nuclear weapons is a priority that the next administration must be committed to. ... Close to Japan, there are nations that want to develop nuclear weapons. By building the US-Japan alliance further, that will create additional deterrence. Deterrence prevents war.
#Abeshinzo news conference. Reporter "Did you consult with anyone before deciding?" Abe "I made my decision on Monday (after seeing a doctor). No, I did not consult anyone.... It took a few days to make sure all in order."
Reporter "The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare the technology deficiencies in Japan. Collection and reporting of data."
Abe "In Information Technology, many challenges have been identified in the COVID crisis. For one, each ministry has a different system. Protection of private info
Abe "I believe that now we have a better, shared understanding of what the problems are." #COVID
Reporter "What time frame do you have in mind?"
Abe "How long will it take for the new LDP president to be chosen? My health condition will hold up for the time being. There should be a debate based on policy issues. It is not for me to discuss the specifics right now."
Reporter "Abe administration has been practicing media management. Did it come from you personally or not?"
Abe "It is not our administration, but it has been a standard practice to accept questions first from the news organizations in charge." "Some questions are anticipated."
Reporter "There are many issues for which you have received criticism. What they have in common is ..."
Abe "Using one's influence for private gain is never acceptable. If anything created misunderstanding, I have to own up to it, but i have never used my office to benefit myself
#Abeshinzo #2020 #Olympics "Japan will fulfill its duty as the host nation. My successor will be committed to that goal." This concludes the news conference. 6:02 Japan Standard time.
In a nutshell, #Japan prime minister #Abeshinzo abruptly called a news conference on Friday, announcing he is stepping down due to deteriorating health. He is being treated for #IBD inflammatory bowel disease.
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