The 65 year-old Prime Minister is said to be suffering from an inflammatory bowel condition.
“For eight years I controlled my disease, now the disease has surfaced again. I need to have continuous drug administered now, and I can’t lose focus,” he said during a television address.
“I need to fight against the disease and concentrate. I have to make a political decision.”
“I can’t make any mistake in decision-making, and have decided to step down as PM,” Abe declared.
Shinzō Abe became prime minister in 2012 as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party.
He previously served as Chief Cabinet Secretary from 2005 to 2006.
He also once served as Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007.
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