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Press Conference by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Sunday, September 24, 2007

Photograph of the Prime Minister holding a press conference

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held his last press conference as Prime Minister at Keio University Hospital.

To begin with he explained the development that had led him to holding this press conference, as he said, "I have been hospitalized so that I could focus entirely on my recovery. However, my physical condition did not recover as quickly as I would have liked and therefore I have been unable to provide the people with an explanation of the situation until now. No matter what, I wanted to apologize to the people of Japan before resigning from my position as Prime Minister and, although it is not sufficient, I have taken the opportunity today to speak to you in this way." Prime Minister Abe went on to say, "My expression of intent to resign took place right in the midst of the very important period at the opening of the Diet session, and this impaired the administration of the affairs of state. I would like to apologize deeply for the great problems that this caused all of the people involved and, more than anyone else, the people of Japan."

Concerning the development that had led to the resignation announcement, Prime Minister Abe said, "My physical condition continued to deteriorate during this one-month period after I reshuffled the Cabinet, and I came to realize that I had reached the limit of my physical wellness, which would have been the foundation on which I would have striven forward to carry out my will to address important issues. I resolved that under such circumstances I could no longer carry out the responsibilities inherent to the position of the Prime Minister and, therefore, expressed my intention to resign." He further explained that at the press conference of September 12, in which he announced his resignation, he did not mention his physical condition, the primary reason that led him to resolve to resign his position, because he did not believe that the standing Prime Minister ought to speak about his or her own health. "However, it is truly unfortunate that I did in fact, as a result, fail to properly convey my true intentions to the people of Japan," said Prime Minister Abe.

In closing, Prime Minister Abe said, "During my tenure as Prime Minister I was warmly greeted by many people who gave me their strong support, and I herein express my deep gratitude for that. I am sorry and deeply regret that I was unable to fully meet the expectations that were placed upon me. I am certain that under the leadership of the new Prime Minister, policies that will serve the people of our nation will be vigorously advanced."