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International relations

Asian neighbors wish departing Abe well -- and eye Japan's next PM

China says resignation is Tokyo's 'internal affair' as others offer praise

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at center in the blue suit, poses with Asian leaders in Bangkok last November. (Pool photo)

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to step down for health reasons on Friday elicited a mixture of reactions -- some warmer than others -- from governments, business leaders and experts across the region.

Most offered get-well-soon messages to Japan's longest-serving premier, whose physical condition had been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks. Some, including two of Japan's closest neighbors, appeared to have one eye on who will fill Abe's shoes.

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