Shinzo Abe is the longest-serving prime minister of Japan in history.

Abe is a member of a political dynasty. His family includes another prime minister in his maternal grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi.

Going into the year, 2020 seemed like it would be a pretty nice year for Abe. Tokyo was making its final preparations to host the Summer Olympics, making Japan for a little while the center of the international sports world. But COVID-19 derailed these plans. At the very least, delaying the Games until 2021, if not forcing them to be canceled altogether.

And then a different health issue would reappear for Abe.

Stepping down for a second time

CNN reports that Shinzo Abe is resigning as prime minister. He's also resigning as the president of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. Although the name might indicate otherwise, it's actually Japan's largest conservative political party.

Abe is known to have ulcerative colitis, a chronic disease that can cause severe ulcers and inflammation in the colon and rectum. Sufferers of colitis can experience severe pain and possibly even ultimately die from it.

For the last several years, Abe had been able to manage ulcerative colitis. However, earlier this year, his condition apparently began getting worse.

And it seems it's reached the point that he feels he can't continue as prime minister.

It's not the first time that Abe's condition has reportedly made him step aside as prime minister. He'd previously held the role from 2006 to 2007. A new treatment that hadn't before been available in Japan helped to improve his condition.

He'd return as the prime minister in 2012 and has held the job since then.

The Liberal Democratic Party is tentatively scheduled to elect a new president on or around September 15. As noted by Reuters, whoever the new leader is would be a virtual lock to be the next prime minister.

Abe has been in the legislature since 1993

Abe was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1993.

The House of Representatives is the lower house of the National Diet, Japan's legislature. He has represented two different electoral districts. Both of them have been based in Yamaguchi in western Japan.

Under Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Abe briefly served as the chief cabinet secretary. He then succeeded Koizumi as prime minister and Liberal Democratic Party president.

After leaving the post of prime minister in 2007, Abe continued on in the House of Representatives. He regained the Liberal Democratic Party presidency in 2012. At the time, it also made him the leader of the opposition. He wouldn't be in the opposition for long. Shortly after, he led the Liberal Democratic Party to a landslide victory in the 2012 general election.