Japanese leader Shinzo Abe resigned on Friday (August 28) over health issues that have grown worse.
Abe is Japan's longest serving prime minister, and has for years battled ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease.
Two recent hospital visits within a week sparked speculation as to whether he could stay in his job as prime minister until September next year, when his term as leader of the Liberal Democracy Party ends.
This is actually Abe's second term as prime minister -- he resigned in 2007 citing health reasons and after a year of scandals, then returned in 2012.
Abe has recently seen his support fall to one of the lowest levels of his nearly eight years in office -- under fire for his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic and more scandals among party members.
Abe's resignation will trigger a leadership race in the party, the winner of which must be formally elected in parliament.