On August 28, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in a press conference, expressed his intention to resign due to his worsening health. Ulcerative colitis—an ailment that took him out of office when he first became prime minister more than a decade ago—has come back to haunt him. With his announcement, the race for Japan’s post-Abe leadership has begun.
Abe is stepping down with roughly a year left in his term, meaning the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will have to grapple with the inconvenient reality that no one wanted to address head on—simply put, the post-Abe LDP faces a serious leadership deficit.
This article was originally published in Issue 70 (September 2020) of The Diplomat Magazine. The full article is available in the magazine.
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