SINGAPORE — Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (28 August) paid tribute to Shinzo Abe after the Japanese premier said he was resigning due to health reasons.
In a post on his Facebook page, Lee said he was sorry to learn about Abe’s resignation, adding that the two leaders had worked well for almost nine years.
“Under his leadership, our bilateral relations have deepened. We last met in person in November, and more recently online in April, during the virtual ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19,” Lee said.
Abe also played a critical role in concluding the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership after the US left the original Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, he added.
In a statement, Abe said he is suffering a recurrence of the ulcerative colitis that forced him to cut short a first term in office. "Now that I am not able to fulfil the mandate from the people with confidence, I have decided that I should no longer occupy the position of the prime minister," he added.
The Japanese leader had been due to stay on until September 2021.
Lee said he wishes Abe a good recovery as he begins treatment for his condition.
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