Abe is known to have been to the hospital twice in the last two weeks.
Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, plans to resign from his post. A close source said that Abe decided to resign because of health problems. NHK reported , Abe visited the hospital twice in the last two weeks. This sparked speculation that his health was deteriorating. This is the second time Abe has resigned from office due to health problems. First, he resigned in 2007 because of inflammatory bowel disease after a year in office.
He returned to office as Prime Minister in 2012 after winning a landslide victory in the Lower House elections. A seven-year term in office makes Abe the longest-standing leader in Japan. Abe can run as PM in one year. His tenure as Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party which is the ruling party will end in September next year.
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Indonesia Beware! Japan and Thailand are Already Entering Economic Recession
One by one, Indonesia’s trading partner countries report the economic recession that hit their country. Most recently, Japan and Thailand reported two consecutive quarters (yoy) of negative economic growth this year. With this condition, Japan and Thailand followed other Asian countries, namely Singapore and South Korea, which had already experienced economic recession.
Quoting the bangkokpost.com page, Wednesday, August 19, 2020, Japan’s economic growth was reported to have dropped 7.8 percent in April-June 2020. This contraction was the worst in Japan’s modern history following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The contraction compared to the previous quarter was slightly more severe than expected. However, this weakness was better than the weakness in various industrial sectors.
Referring to Japanese economic data, this contraction is the worst since 1980, apart from the brutal effects of the 2008 world financial crisis. Some analysts even call this recession the worst since World War II given the calculation methods in the 1980s that made comparisons complex.
“The economic collapse in April and May under the state of emergency imposed by the government exceeded expectations. The record for downturn was on both the internal and external demand side,” said Daiichi Life Research Institute chief economist Yishiki Shinke as quoted by the Bangkok Post . On an annual basis, the Japanese economy contracted 27.8 percent with weakening in terms of domestic demand which fell by 4.8 percent and exports of food and service materials at 18.5 percent.
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Thailand’s Economy Worsens Since Chrismon 98
Thailand experienced worse conditions, which recorded the worst economic downturn since the Monetary Crisis (Krismon) in 1998. Quoting the Straits Times page , Thailand reported that the economy contracted 12.2 percent, citing National Economic and Social Development Council data on Sunday, August 17, 2020.
The economic downturn in Thailand is the lowest since the Asian crisis in 1998. However, the good news is that this economic contraction is better than analysts predicted in a Bloomberg survey, which estimated it to reach 13 percent.
“We are concerned about the economic conditions, especially unemployment and bad debt and MSMEs,” said Secretary General of the Economic Council of Thailand Thosaporn Sirisumphand. “We will handle 16 million employees in the informal sector. We have prepared measures to help them.”