Tokya (Japan) | Jagran News Desk: Citing 'chronic health condition', Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday resigned from his position, reported Reuters.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Abe -- who is the longest serving Japanese Prime Minister -- said that his health had started declining from the middle of the last month, following he has decided to step down from his position.     

"I cannot be prime minister if I cannot make the best decisions for the people. I have decided to step down from my post," Reuters quoted the 65-year-old as saying. 

The 65-year-old, however, offered his apologies for the second resignation, noting that he was "unable to fulfil the mandate from the people with confidence".

"I would like to sincerely apologise to the people of Japan for leaving my post with one year left in my term of office, and amid the coronavirus woes, while various policies are still in the process of being implemented," Abe said at the press conference.

As Abe decided to resign from his position, Japan's benchmark Nikkei average fell 2.12 per cent to 22,717.02, while the broader Topix shed 1.00 per cent to 1,599.70. The selling wiped USD 4.7 billion off Tokyo's USD 5.7 trillion stock market value, which had more than doubled during his tenure.  

This is the second time when Abe has decided to resign from his position. The Japanese Prime Minister had also resigned from his position in 2007, citing ill-health after a year plagued by scandals in his cabinet and a huge election loss for his ruling party. He had since kept his illness in check with medicine that was not previously available. Abe, however, returned to the office in 2012 with a thumping majority.

Meanwhile, Abe has been facing the heat over his handling of the coronavirus crisis and scandals among ruling party members due to which his popularity dropped by 30 per cent in Japan. 

(With Reuters inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma