The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has resigned in a surprise move, after repeatedly insisting he would not step down. His Liberal Democratic party, which lost control of the upper house of parliament in July, was embroiled in a row over pensions and there have been a series of financial scandals involving cabinet ministers. The press called him a “colossal failure”. But still Abe refused to go.
At the weekend Abe indicated he might step down if he failed to get the Japanese navy mission in Afghanistan extended. Opposition politicians were planning to grill him in Parliament on the issue this afternoon.