Japan PM Shinzo Abe to resign over health problems, says local media

Speculation about the Prime Minister’s health has been swirling for weeks.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to announce his resignation over health issues, local media reported on Friday, hours before he was due to address a press conference.

โ€œAbe intends to resign as his illness has worsened and he worries it will cause troubleโ€ in leading the country, national broadcaster NHK said, without identifying their source.

Speculation about the Prime Minister’s health has been swirling for weeks but reached fever pitch in recent days after he made two separate trips to hospital for unspecified medical checks.

Mr. Abe is scheduled to hold a press conference at 5 p.m. (0800 GMT) on Friday and โ€œhe is likely to explain reasonsโ€ for his resignation, NHK and other media reported.

Mr. Abe took three days of holidays this month and on August 17 made an unannounced hospital visit, staying there for more than seven hours for medical checks.

He made a second visit to the same hospital a week later for additional tests and said at the time that he intended to continue in the job.

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