Cartoon from the Tokyo Shimbun of 18 December 2012:
Panel 1: LDP election headquarters, "Huge Victory" -- shouts of "Banzai! Banzai!"
Panel 2: LDP president Abe Shinzo, in between Secretary General Ishiba Shigeru and Executive Acting Secretary-General Suga Yoshihide, doubling over, "Oh, my belly it...it hurts..."
Panel 3: Abe, grinning and swinging from one to the other, "..from LAUGHING TOO HARD!"
Panel 4: Amid gales of laughter from all, Ishiba, "I thought, 'Have we turned back the clock?' for a second there!"
Abe says that ulcerative colitis drove him from office in 2007 and that his illness is under control due to a new drug. (Link)
I could believe his story, except that:
1) he has never offered to release his medical records
2) he made no mention of illness in his resignation speech of September 12, 2007 nor during question-and-answer session afterward (Link)
3) there was a question-and-answer session on September 12, 2007
3) he left the Prime Minister's Residence two days later in the back seat of a Special Police car, unaccompanied by a doctor or his wife, the two car motorcade barreling through Nagata-cho to a closed wing of Keio University Hospital, without a transfer of executive power to another member of the Cabinet.
Yep, makes me laugh. Ha. Ha.
Image courtesy: Tokyo Shimbun