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Breaking – Abe to resign September 12, 2007

Posted by fukumimi in Japan, Politics.

This is totally unheard of. A PM resigning right after opening a new diet session, two days ago. If he performs true to form, he will sulk away without giving adequate explanation.
No doubt he should have gone, but the timing, as with so much about Abe, is woeful. I’m sure the LDP are livid. I suspect the DPJ would also have prefered to have kept on beating on Abe, rather than a new PM.

More after Abe’s press conference….



1. Durf - September 12, 2007

Fun times in Nagatacho! Here’s hoping Ozawa doesn’t get it in his head that he can force LDP prime ministers to resign by refusing to meet with them.

2. fukumimi - September 12, 2007

I fail to see how anyone can be satisfied with Abe’s primary _stated_ reason for his resignation – “I’m resigning because Ozawa won’t meet me”… How silly does that sound? A PM quitting because an opposition party leader won’t meet him?

The other stated reason was that he had stated previously that he is putting his job on the line and attempting to extend the MSDF mission in the Indian Ocean, a promise he had made to Japan’s allies, and that he had come to the realisation that his own presence was holding back progress in the political negotiations on this issue and for him to deliver on his promises, he had to resign… (… and forfeit any ability to drive this issue….) A bizarre logic, again.

The resignation press conference underlined exactly what is wrong with Abe. No adequate explanation given, obviously no apology to the electorate – as usual, and most bizarrely, going on and on about “the war on terrorism” whilst whitewashing the various pressing domestic issues. It seemed to be more for the consumption of non-domestic ears. Somehow I don’t think his attempt to blame others for his predicament is going to be sufficient to salvage Japan’s foreign reputation. After his posturing and the reassurances made at last weekend’s APEC summit and elsewhere, it is truely bizzare that he is walking away at this time.

There are rumours that he has been unwell of late and that he might be heading to hospital at some point, but that clearly is not an excuse for a resignation at this particular time. There are clear rules for temporary handover of power during times of illness and similar. Even if it were a serious condition, there is a clear succession policy which does not require resignation.

Even most of the LDP members and other politicans were caught by surprise, many learning of the resignation on the TV news. The way Abe has chosen to resign certainly rules him out for any serious political challenge within the LDP framework in the future.

3. Gen Kanai - September 14, 2007

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