(TOKYO) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday turned Japan’s longest-serving chief when it comes to consecutive days in workplace, however there was little fanfare, as he visited a hospital for an additional checkup amid considerations about his well being.
Abe marked his 2,799th consecutive day in workplace since returning to management in late 2012 for a second time period, surpassing the earlier report set by Eisaku Sato, his great-uncle, who served 2,798 straight days from 1964 to 1972.
Abe, who turns 66 subsequent month, turned Japan’s longest-serving prime minister final November, combining his earlier one-year time period.
His first time period ended abruptly 13 years in the past due to well being issues, fueling considerations about his present situation. The prime minister made a hospital go to for the second week in a row on Monday.
Abe later advised reporters that he revisited the hospital “to get detailed outcomes from final week’s checkup and have further examination.”
“I’m ensuring I’m in good well being, and I plan to maintain working onerous,” Abe mentioned, including that he’ll clarify his well being later.
The earlier Monday, he spent greater than seven hours at Keio College Hospital in Tokyo for what officers mentioned was a further checkup as a result of he didn’t have sufficient time throughout his earlier go to in June.
Final week’s hospital go to triggered a flurry of hypothesis within the Japanese media in regards to the chance that his well being was declining.
Prime officers from Abe’s Cupboard and the ruling occasion, together with Finance Minister Taro Aso, mentioned publicly that Abe was overworked and badly wanted relaxation. Media members masking the prime minister’s workplace mentioned Abe seemed drained and was transferring slower that regular.
Throughout the previous week, he has spent only some hours a day in his workplace, solely within the afternoon.
Chief Cupboard Secretary Yoshihide Suga, at an everyday information convention earlier Monday, dismissed worries about Abe’s well being. “I see him every single day, however I haven’t seen something totally different,” he mentioned.
Requested if Abe will probably be ready serve one other 12 months till his present time period ends in September 2021, Suga mentioned the prime minister is present process further well being exams to verify he will probably be ready to take action.
His heath considerations have added to hypothesis on how for much longer Abe might keep in workplace. His help rankings have plunged to their lowest ranges because of his dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic and its extreme affect on the financial system, on high of a slew of political scandals.
Abe, since his return to workplace in 2012, has led his ruling bloc to 6 nationwide election victories within the absence of viable liberal-center contenders and expanded his affect each at parliament and amongst bureaucrats, regardless of criticisms of autocracy.
Abe has additionally steadily bolstered Japan’s protection functionality and allowed Japanese Self-Protection Power to do extra for its ally U.S. by stretching the interpretation of the pacifist Structure.
His cherished aim of revising the constitution continues to be unmet, though he has stepped up his efforts to take action earlier than his time period ends in September 2021. Abe and his right-wing supporters have lengthy seen the U.S.-drafted war-renouncing structure as a legacy of Japan’s World Warfare II defeat and humiliation throughout U.S. occupation.
The tip of his scandal-laden first stint as prime minister was the start of six years of annual management change, remembered as an period of “revolving door” politics that lacked stability and long-term insurance policies.
When he returned to workplace in 2012, Abe vowed to revitalize the nation and get its financial system out of the deflationary doldrums along with his “Abenomics” method.
Opponents have mentioned Abe’s time in workplace has led to cronyism, autocracy and induced extra injury than profit to democracy.