Duterte bemoans Japan PM Abe's resignation over health problems

Ratziel San Juan - Philstar.com
Duterte bemoans Japan PM Abe's resignation over health problems
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirm friendship and commitment to a more intensified development partnership as they declare their joint press statement following the summit meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo, Japan on May 31, 2019.
Presidential photo / Robinson Niñal Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday lamented the decision of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to resign due to health issues, praying for his "speedy and full recovery."

"It is with much regret that I learned of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's resignation. Through many years of our engagement, I have seen a leader with a bold vision and firm determination to do what was best for his country and our region,” the president said in an official statement released Saturday.

Shortly after setting a record for the longest consecutive run as prime minister at almost eight years, Abe announced Friday that he is stepping down due to his health condition.

RELATED: Japan PM Abe to quit over health problems

Duterte said that the bilateral relations between the Philippnes and Japan "greatly flourished" during Abe's tenure, praising the latter's "kindness and strength of character."

“What we have worked for and achieved together lays the foundation for an even closer friendship and cooperation between our countries in the future...He is - to me and the Filipino people - a true friend closer than a brother," he said.

The president himself has disclosed his own health problems, which include Buerger's disease, Myasthenia gravis, Barrett's esophagus, as well as severe migraines and spinal problems attributed to a motorcycle accident when he was younger.

Recently, Duterte revealed that his doctor advised him to stop drinking since his Barrett's esophagus is nearing stage one cancer. Malacañang, however, said that the doctor's advice to the president was given a long time ago.

RELATED: Doc says Duterte illness nearing stage one cancer 

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