(Japan): Japan's Prime Minister Abe plans to resign over health reasons, local media reports

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to resign because of a number of health issues, national broadcaster NHK reported.

Friday saw concerns about his health and speculation about his tenure grow significantly as he made at least two hospital visits in the span of the past week, media reports have it.

One of his hospital visits reportedly lasted almost eight hours, and he is known to suffer from chronic condition - ulcerative colitis, which was in part responsible for forcing him out of office after just a year during his previous term as prime minister in 2007.

The governing Liberal Democratic party (LDP) has so far failed to quash speculation that Abe may be unable to serve out his term, which ends in September 2021, as rumours have swirled around how his chronic conditions could impact Abe's tenure.

LDP allies insisted this week that Abe would carry on until his term as party president – and as prime minister – ends in September 2021.