Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to resign after a prolonged battle with a chronic illness.
The national broadcaster, NHK, reported Abe would step down because of health issues at a press conference on Friday afternoon. The Japanese government earlier this week maintained it expected Abe to see out his term, which was due to finish in September 2021.
Health concerns: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Credit:AP
Abe, Japan's longest serving prime minister and a key figure in international relations, has suffered from ulcerative colitis for more than a decade. The 65-year-old left his first term in office in 2007 to treat the inflammatory bowel disease.
He made two trips to hospital for check-ups in the past two weeks.
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