Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has resigned due to poor health.
The 65-year old Abe, who is known to have battled chronic ulcerative colitis, said he was resigning for health reasons.
The Washington Post reported that speculation about the conservative leader’s condition had swirled of late after recent visits to the hospital.
Abe remains Japan’s longest-serving leader who began his current term in office in 2012, after previously serving as prime minister in 2006-07.
Abe has tried to revive Japan’s economy through a series of reforms known as Abenomics.
He has also worked to expand Japan’s military defenses to counter rising threats from China and North Korea.
“More recently, Abe has enjoyed a close relationship with President Trump, with whom he has played golf several times,” The Washington Post noted.