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Abe holds 1st news conference in 7 weeks as speculation swirls

Japan prime minister takes on criticism of low profile he kept as COVID surged

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in Hiroshima for ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing, gives his first news conference since June 18.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday held his first news conference since June, breaking a spell that coincided with an upswing in new coronavirus infections across the nation, a swell of criticism of the government's response to the wave and speculation that Abe may be remaining out of the public's eye due to low approval numbers.

The news conference followed the atomic bomb victims' memorial service and peace prayer ceremony in Hiroshima, a regular event held by successive prime ministers.

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