Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has resigned due to poor health as he has battled ulcerative colitis for many years, and his health declined last month.
Abe, 65, said, “I cannot be prime minister if I cannot make the best decisions for the people. I have decided to step down from my post.”
He apologised from the bottom of his heart for not being able to fulfil his duties and the resignation will spark a leadership race.
The Prime Minister’s resignation has sent markets tumbling as Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average fell 2.12% to 22,717.02. The Topix shed 1% to 1,599.70.
$4.7bn was wiped off Tokyo’s stock market value, which is worth $5.7trn which more than doubled during Abe’s time in office.
Finance Minister Taro Aso is expected to take over as acting Prime Minister