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TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe brushed off lingering worries about his health Wednesday, saying he went to the hospital only for a checkup.
“I got a checkup a day before yesterday to make absolutely sure I’m healthy,” he told reporters. “I’m getting back to work now, and I hope to keep working hard. Thank you.”
He walked off, without responding to reporters’ follow-up questions about the checkup.
Abe was seen Monday sitting in a car that drove into Keio University Hospital in Tokyo, then emerging several hours later. At that time, neither he nor his office made comments.
The visit raised a flurry of speculation in Japanese media about his health, coming after a top ruling party politician said publicly that Abe was overworked and needed rest.
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Abe, 65, stepped down in 2007, during his earlier stint as prime minister, citing health problems, but was elected for the second time as leader in 2012.
He is the longest-serving prime minister in Japanese history. Japan is a nation known for having leaders serving relatively short periods, often resigning amid scandal.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
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