Source AP ©

Japanese Prime Minister Abe announces resignation

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned Wednesday after voters deserted his scandal-plagued government and an emboldened opposition refused to back his ambitious reform agenda.

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 U.S.-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.