Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he will resign due to poor health

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (File photo: AFP)

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Friday he will resign over health problems, in a bombshell development that kicks off a leadership contest in the world's third-largest economy.

"I have decided to step down from the post of the prime minister," he told a press conference, saying he was suffering from a recurrence of the ulcerative colitis that ended his first term in office.

"It is gut wrenching to have to leave my job before accomplishing my goals," added Abe.

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The national broadcaster NHK had reported that Abe would resign earlier on Friday, saying that he wanted to avoid causing problems to government due to a worsening of his chronic health condition.

Speculation about Abe's health and tenure had risen after he made two visits to a hospital recently. He has battled the chronic disease ulcerative colitis for years.

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Last Update: Friday, 28 August 2020 KSA 11:41 - GMT 08:41
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