Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to resign due to illness

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will resign over health concerns, according to the country’s national broadcaster NHK.

Speculation has been growing about the Prime Minister’s health since he made several visits to a Tokyo hospital in the space of one week.

Mr Abe, who is currently serving in his second stint as Prime Minister, abruptly ended his first tenure in 2007 when he resigned due to an intestinal disease called ulcerative colitis.

He returned to the leadership in 2012 and has gone on to become the country’s longest-serving leader.

He will address the media at 5:00pm local time (6:00pm AEST).

Mr Abe could have served one more year in office before being forced to step down as the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party due to term limits.

More to come.