Japanese Prime Minister says he will resign

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The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced today that he will resign, ending a troubled year-old government that has suffered a string of damaging scandals and a humiliating electoral defeat.

Abe, at 52 Japan's youngest postwar prime minister, said he was stepping down to pave the way for ruling and opposition parties to work together to approve the extension of Tokyo's naval mission in support of the US-led operation in Afghanistan.

National broadcaster NHK reported the ruling Liberal Democratic Party was making arrangements to hold an election for a successor next week.