Rumors of health problems and resignation ahead of Abe’s consecutive record in office.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been embroiled in rumors of health problems ahead of his record-breaking tenure.
Rumors of a health problem spread as Prime Minister Abe reportedly had a sudden medical checkup at Keio University Hospital in Tokyo on the 17th, and some in Japan’s political circles even raised the possibility of resignation.
Abe, who succeeded in his second term in December 2012, became the longest-serving prime minister in history based on the total number of days he served, including the first term of office on November 20, 2006.
On August 24, his uncle Eisaku Sato (1901-1975) will surpass the previous record of 2,798 days.
Rumors of health problems related to Prime Minister Abe, which is just around the corner of achieving a new record, have been raised since June when he began to shy away from official press conferences.
The Japanese weekly magazine “Flash,” released on the 4th, added fuel to rumors of health problems when it reported that Prime Minister Abe reportedly vomited blood at his office in his official residence on July 6.
Since then, private Japanese broadcasters have reported that Abe’s pace of walking is slowing down due to fatigue from dealing with new coronavirus infections.
Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Abe visited Keio University Hospital without notice and underwent more than seven hours of tests at the same hospital about two months after receiving a thorough checkup, spreading rumors of health problems.
The prime minister’s official residence stressed that it is a routine checkup, saying, “To ensure health care, I take a summer vacation to get a checkup on the same day.”
A source at the prime minister’s residence said, “I just checked several times because I could spend all day on weekdays,” adding, “There is no problem with Abe’s physical condition.”
However, Japanese political circles have been in turmoil since Abe resigned in September 2007 at the end of his first term, citing worsening ulcerative colitis.
A veteran lawmaker of the Liberal Democratic Party said on the 18th, “When former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi collapsed, I chose Yoshiro Mori as my successor,” adding, “Isn’t there someone who uses the political situation like that time?”
Kyodo News also reported on the previous day that a veteran lawmaker of the Liberal Democratic Party said, “The resignation of the prime minister also needs to be put into perspective and dealt with.”
Opposition parties are also keeping a close eye on Abe’s health.
An official of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party said, “We need to keep an eye on the prime minister’s physical condition,” while a rising member of the same party insisted that the prime minister should be replaced “if he is really in bad shape,” Kyodo said.
However, Japanese government officials explain that Abe is just tired from working for a long time in a row, and that there is no problem with his health.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters the night before that Abe had served 147 consecutive days until June 20. “If he hadn’t rested that much, wouldn’t he feel strange?”