Prime Minister of Japan leaves hospital after examination due to health concerns


TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe underwent a medical check-up at the hospital on Monday, a government source said, amid concern expressed by a senior official that the prime minister was suffering from fatigue from the management of the coronavirus pandemic.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives at his residence upon his return from Keio University Hospital in Tokyo, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo on August 17, 2020. Mandatory Credit Kyodo / via REUTERS

Abe, the longest-serving Japanese prime minister, was discharged from hospital after the exam, Jiji News Agency said.

He was checked at Keio University Hospital in Tokyo, the source familiar with the situation told Reuters.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato, a close aide to the prime minister, said he understood it was a regular check-up and that he was “not at all” worried about Abe’s health.

“All I know is the media reports. And I understand this was reported as a regular check, ”Kato told reporters.

Abe is checked regularly twice a year, the most recent being on June 13, Kyodo news agency said, adding that Monday’s visit followed the June check, citing a hospital source.

Abe’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The news follows comments over the weekend from Akira Amari, chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s tax committee, that Abe, 65, may be suffering from fatigue due to his continued work on responding to the virus.

“I want him to take a break,” Amari told a Fuji TV news program on Sunday. “He has a strong sense of responsibility and finds it wrong to take a break.”

Abe, in office since 2012 in his second term as Prime Minister, resigned his first term in 2007 due to battles with ulcerative colitis, which he is now keeping under control with drugs that were not previously available .

Japanese media have speculated on Abe’s health this month, including detailed reports on Abe’s walking speed. The weekly Flash magazine said that Abe vomited blood in his office on July 6. Reuters was unable to verify the report.

“I see the Prime Minister every day, and I think he has no (health) problems because he is carrying out his duties smoothly,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said during ‘a press conference on August 5 in response to the following questions. The report.

Abe has performed his regular duties in recent weeks and was last seen in public on Saturday, at a ceremony in Tokyo commemorating Japan’s defeat in World War II.

Although there are no reports that he is unable to perform his duties, should that be the case, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, who also serves as finance minister, would take over.

Reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto, Kiyoshi Takenaka, Chris Gallagher, Antoni Slodkowski; Additional reporting by Linda Sieg; Written by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Clarence Fernandez and Nick Macfie

Our standards:Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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