Sayonara: Abe’s party, the Liberal Democrats, said it would hold an election on Sept. 19 to choose a new leader who, given the party’s control of the lower house of Parliament, will automatically become Japan’s next prime minister.
Japan’s unpopular prime minister, Shinzo Abe, abruptly announced on Wednesday that he is stepping down. While Abe’s resignation sounds like it should be welcome news, given his lack of public and official support, it looks like even his exit strategy has caused controversy.
The New York Times:
Mr. Abe, deeply unpopular, had already been written off by Japan’s political establishment and news media, his political future measured in months. But the resignation’s timing—three days after the start of a parliamentary session—stunned Japan. It drew accusations of irresponsibility from inside and outside his party, and threw the country’s already tense political situation into further disarray.
“In the current situation, it will be quite difficult to forcefully pursue policies based on the people’s support and trust,” Mr. Abe said, seeming at one point on the verge of tears.