Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe resigns, clearing way for successor

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Shinzo Abe

FILE – In this Aug. 28, 2020 file photo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at the prime minister official residence in Tokyo. When Abe announced his decision last month to step down as Japan’s prime minster over an illness, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s office issued glowing praise about his unspecified contributions to bilateral ties. The rare praise came after years of intense diplomatic rows over wartime history, trade and military issues that sank the relationship between the key U.S. allies to post-war lows. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP, File)

TOKYO (AP) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Cabinet resigned Wednesday, clearing the way for his successor to take over after parliamentary confirmation later in the day.

Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, announced last month he was stepping down because of health problems.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, long seen as Abe’s right-hand man, was chosen Monday as the new head of the governing Liberal Democratic Party, virtually guaranteeing his election as prime minister in a parliamentary vote Wednesday because of the party’s majority.

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