Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to resign for health reasons, local media reported Friday.
Abe plans to step down to deal with a health problem, national broadcaster NHK reported citing sources close to the prime minister. Kyodo News also reported that Abe plans to resign, citing a source from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Reuters reported that a source close to a senior party official said Abe’s resignation was “a done deal.”
CNBC has not independently confirmed the reports.
Abe had been scheduled to hold a press conference at 5 p.m. local time.
Those reports come after Abe’s recent hospital visits, which spurred concerns about his health. The Japanese leader visited a hospital twice in the last two weeks, according to NHK.
Abe suffers from a chronic inflammatory bowel disease and had to previously step down as prime minister in 2007 following a flare up, Reuters reported. He returned to the top job after his party registered a landslide election victory in 2012.
Abe’s current term does not end until 2021.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.