Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Cabinet resigned Tuesday, clearing the way for new ruling party leader Yasuo Fukuda to be named by parliament as his successor.
Abe, 53, stunned the nation when he announced Sept. 12 that he wanted to quit, and checked into a hospital the following day for strees-related intestinal ailments. He was quickly criticized for not fully explaining his decision, and for creating a political vacuum.
The outgoing premier told reporters Monday that his ailing health lay behind his suprise decision to resign, though he did not mention his condition at the time of his announcement.
"Prime Minister Abe shook hands with each of the ministers, and we sent him out with applause. It was very moving," outgoing Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama told reporters.