TOKYO — Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, says he will resign because a chronic illness has resurfaced.
Concerns about Abe’s health began this summer and grew this month when he visited a Tokyo hospital two weeks in a row for unspecified health checkups.
Abe has acknowledged having ulcerative colitis since he was a teenager and has said the condition was controlled with treatment.
Abe, whose term ends in September 2021, is expected to stay on until a new party leader is elected and formally approved by the parliament.
Abe's resignation will mark the end of his second term. He served as prime minister from September 2006 to September 2007 before resigning due to health problems. He assumed office for his second term in December 2012.