New medicine stopped Shinzo Abe’s crippling diarrhea, allowing him to return as leader of LDP

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    cured at last?

    In early 2008, Shinzo Abe resigned as Prime Minister, claiming that diarrhea was preventing him from carrying out his duties. The diarrhea was due to ulcerative colitis, a bowel illness caused by ulcers. Abe had suffered from this illness for decades, but after becoming Prime Minister, the stress of his job apparently made the symptoms worse.

    A couple days ago, Abe was elected leader of the Liberal Democratic Party. Two important events seemd to have made his victory possible. One is the recent outburst of Chinese aggression, which made a conservative “hawk” like Abe attractive to party members. The other, and perhaps the most important, was Abe’s use of a new medicine that allowed him to better control his bowel movements.

    According to the Japanese media, it was Asacol, a drug that has been sold by Zeria Pharmaceutical Company since 2009. (It is also found under the name “Mesalazine.”)

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