Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced on Friday that he would resign after his one-year tenure on duty amid an unpopular COVID-19 response and his public support diminution.
Suga will not participate in the forthcoming LDP elections this month, so the new leader, who will become prime minister, will be chosen.
“Running in the race and handling coronavirus countermeasures would have required an enormous amount of energy,” he said on Friday.
Suga, who replaced former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a year ago, citing ill health, has his rating downed below 30 percent amid Japan’s struggle with its worst wave of COVID-19 infections, less than a month before the elections start.
The sudden announcement hasn’t been expected as there were no hints of his plans to step back from the office after a single year tenure and Suga wouldn’t try to contest at the elections.
The LDP’s Secretary-General. Toshihiro Nikai, was surprised by the flash announcement:
“Honestly, I’m surprised. It’s truly regrettable. He did his best but after careful consideration, he made this decision,” he said. Nikay also declared that Suga will focus on the efforts of COVID-19 handling.
Suga has faced controversy towards his decision of not postponing the Olympic Games, which were already delayed for a year, amid a strong COVID-19