Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will resign from his post citing health issues, reported several local media outlets on Friday. The announcement will end a record-setting tenure of Abe with no clear successor to replace him in the coming days.
However, there were no official confirmation of the reports as the claims came hours before Abe was scheduled to give a press conference to adress the ongoing speculation about his health.
The news of Abe’s stepping down as PM has sent Tokyo stocks plunging down more than two percent.
Rumours of Shinzo Abe’s stepping down from the post of PM has intensified in recent days after his two surprise visits to the hospital for unspecified medical checks. However, senior officials in his government have suggested that Abe would serve his office for the remaining of the year.
This is the second time Abe would be resigning from his position, as earlier in 2007, he stepped down as PM citing health issues just after one year into his first term.
PM Abe was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which was later said to be under control when he returned to office in 2012.
If the resignation of Abe is confirmed, it will come despite the government spokesman Yoshihide Suga’s statement on Friday morning that Abe remained in good health.