On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned along with his Cabinet, paving the way for the country's successor, Yoshihide Suga, after a parliamentary confirmation letter.
Abe was Japan's longest-serving prime minister and cited health problems as his reasons for stepping down from his position.
The end of a legacy
According to AP News, Abe told reporters that he had dedicated his body and soul to restoring the country's economy and diplomacy. The prime minister noted he wanted to protect the national interest of Japan every single day.
Abe added that he was able to experience various challenges with the support of the Japanese people during his service and expressed his contentment with his actions and decisions.
The Japanese prime minister said his health had been improving due to treatments he was receiving and promised that he would be supporting his successor-to-be moving forward. Abe expressed his gratitude to the nation and its people and encouraged them to work together once more under Suga's leadership.
Suga is the chief Cabinet secretary for Abe's government and has been the prime minister's right-hand man. The announcement of the official's seat as the new head of the governing Liberal Democratic Party practically guarantees Suga's election as Japan's new prime minister.
A self-made politician and the son of a strawberry grower from the northern prefecture of Akita, Suga has used his background to assure the nation that he will continue to serve regular folks' interests and have the best of the rural communities in mind.
The official promised to continue Abe's unfinished policies and stated his priority would be fighting against the coronavirus and reviving a severely battered economy. With his campaign of pursuing the prime minister's legacy, several high-profile parties and their followers gave Suga their support.
History in office
Abe was Japan's prime minister in 2012, where he held the responsibility to oversee the country's recovery from a devastating earthquake and several other natural calamities. He also worked towards helping the nation recover some of its economic health, as reported by The New York Times.
However, Abe's second seat as prime minister was considered to be the one where fell short of his aim to revise the pacifist Constitution that the United States government implemented after World War II.
During that time, the prime minister was also unsuccessful in reclaiming the contested islands that Japan and Russia claimed to have the two countries sign a peace treaty that would have ended the war.
During a news conference on Friday, Abe apologized for another shortcoming, his unsuccessful attempts to secure the return of Japanese citizens that North Korea kidnapped several decades ago.
Abe announced he suffered a relapse of his bowel disease, which caused him to resign from his first post as prime minister.
Suga will inherit several challenges as he takes the seat of Japan's newest prime minister, including the nation's diplomatic difficulties with China, which has continuously asserted its claims in the East China Sea.
According to Global News, Suga will also have to decide what the country will do with the Tokyo Olympics amid the deadly threat of the coronavirus pandemic. He will also have to build good diplomatic ties with whoever wins the United States presidential race.