Cheers and flowers as Abe leaves office

Abe, whose support was critical in ensuring Suga's victory in the party election this week, entered the prime minister's office on the last day of his tenure and thanked the people of Japan, vowing to support the incoming government as a regular member of parliament.

"I am proud to have taken on various challenges with the Japanese people," he told journalists.

When journalists asked about his health, he added that the medicine he's taking for his chronic illness is working that and he is recovering.

Officials at the prime minister's office gave Abe a warm send-off by applauding and presenting him with a bouquet of flowers as he left the office.