Opposition Blasts Japanese Prime Minister for Decision to Step Down
15:26 GMT 03.09.2021 (Updated: 15:27 GMT 03.09.2021)
© AFP 2022 / BEHROUZ MEHRI In this file photo taken on May 28, 2021 Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo. - Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on September 3, 2021 he will not run for his ruling party's leadership, effectively ending his tenure and throwing wide open the race for the next premier.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has come under attack from the opposition after he announced his decision to step down, the Kyodo news agency reported on Friday.
Suga's rating has dropped over his handling of surging COVID-19 infections and the highly contagious Delta variant. On Friday, the prime minister said he will not throw his cap in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party leadership race in late September. It means that Suga, who took the helm a year ago after his predecessor Shinzo Abe's abrupt departure for health reasons, will resign as prime minister.
"It's an emergency that the leader responsible for the coronavirus response has announced his intention to resign at a time when (many parts of Japan) are under a state of emergency," Yuichiro Tamaki, the leader of the Democratic Party for the People, said, as quoted by Kyodo.
His departure means "he is effectively taking responsibility for the failed response (to the pandemic)," the politician stated.
According to the leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party, Yukio Edano, the decision is "irresponsible," as no time should be wasted to respond to the spike in COVID-19 cases, the agency reported.
Japan has recently seen a record rise in COVID-19 infections. Over the past several days, however, cases have dropped somewhat, with the country reporting 16,738 new cases on Friday, some 9,000 less than a week ago.