- 辞任（後出step downは辞任する）
- in the wake of ～
- ulcerative colitis
- in top shape
- err on ～
- territorial dispute
- ～ consecutive
- surpass ～
- ～を超える（後出eclipse ～も同意）
- grip on power
- operational scope
- security alliance
- ruling Liberal Democratic Party
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, 65, announced at an Aug. 28 news conference that he has decided to step down from his post, following a record-long tenure. The move came in the wake of repeated hospital visits by the prime minister amid concerns about his health.
"A relapse of my ulcerative colitis was confirmed in early August. While I get treated for my illness and my physical strength is not in top shape, there mustn't be a situation where I err on important political decisions and fail to deliver results. I decided to step down as prime minister," he said. Aides had noted Abe's fatigue amid Japan's response to the new coronavirus pandemic.
"It's gut-wrenching to have to leave my job before accomplishing my goals," Abe said, mentioning his failure to resolve the issue of Japanese abducted years ago by North Korea, a territorial dispute with Russia, and revisions to Japan's war-renouncing Constitution. Abe said he will continue his political activity as a lawmaker.
Abe began his first stint as prime minister in 2006 but stepped down in 2007 after about a year in office because of the same disease. He assumed the role once again in December 2012, and on Aug. 24 he marked his 2,799th consecutive day in office, surpassing his great uncle Sato Eisaku (1901-1975) to become Japan's longest serving prime minister by the number of uninterrupted days in the post. Including his term from 2006 to 2007, he eclipsed the 2,886 combined days of former Prime Minister Katsura Taro (1848-1913) to become Japan's longest serving prime minister overall in November 2019.
Abe won six national elections and maintained a rock-solid grip on power. Bolstering Japan's defensive capabilities and operational scope, he achieved a stronger Japan-U.S. security alliance, and he raised the country's international profile. Abe tried to get the nation's economy out of its deflationary doldrums with his "Abenomics" economic policy mix. He helped Tokyo gain the right to host the 2020 Olympics, which were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
His current term as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party was due to end in September 2021, meaning he will be leaving his post early for the second time.
(Compiled from AP and Mainichi reports)
[本文 - 370 words]