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Japan Prime Minister Abe to resign over health problems: local media

Shinzo Abe
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wearing a face mask arrives at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on August 28, 2020. Abe is expected to hold a press conference on August 28 to discuss his health after two recent sets of medical checks that fuelled growing speculation about his wellbeing. Kazuhiro Nogi, AFP

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

“Abe intends to resign as his illness has worsened and he worries it will cause trouble” in leading the country, national broadcaster NHK said, without citing a 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.

Makati City Pabakuna

Tokyo stocks plunged more than two percent Friday after reports on Abe’s resignation plan.

The Nikkei 225 dropped 2.10 percent, or 486.99 points, to 22,721.87, reversing earlier gains, after local media reported Abe was set to quit.

The yen, considered a safe haven in times of uncertainty, rallied against the dollar, hitting 106.11 to the greenback, from 106.74. Agence France-Presse