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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 10:43 GMT 11:43 UK
Timeline: Abe's road to resignation
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced his resignation after less than a year in office. The BBC charts the highs and lows of his time in power.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 12 September 2007
Mr Abe saw his poll ratings plummet during his year in power
26 Sept 2006: Shinzo Abe becomes prime minister after winning the leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), taking over from Junichiro Koizumi.

29 Sept: Mr Abe sets out plans to revise the pacifist constitution and emphasise patriotism at home, while strengthening ties among Japan's neighbours. But his first policy speech is criticised by some for being short on detail.

8-9 Oct: Mr Abe makes fence-mending trips to China and South Korea, easing tensions caused by Mr Koizumi's repeated visits to the controversial Yasakuni Shrine, seen by Japan's neighbours as a symbol of its wartime militarism.

21 Dec: Masaaki Homma, head of a government tax panel, resigns amid reports he was living with a mistress in an apartment subsidised by taxpayers' money.

27 Dec: The minister for administrative reform, Genichiro Sata, resigns amid allegations of irregular funding.

27 Jan 2007: Health minister Hakuo Yanagisawa calls women "breeding machines", leading to calls for his resignation and seriously embarrassing the prime minister.

5 March: Mr Abe says there is no proof that the Japanese army or government kidnapped women in World War II to act a sex slaves. He later tries to clarify the comments, but they still lead to outrage across Asia.

11 April: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits Japan. During the visit, the two leaders pledge greater co-operation between the two countries.

26 April: Mr Abe makes his first visit to Washington for talks with US President George W Bush.

8 May: Mr Abe sends an offering to the Yasakuni Shrine on the day Japan marks the 62nd anniversary of its surrender in World War II, but unlike many ministers in the past he declines to visit the shrine himself.

28 May: Agriculture Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka commits suicide over claims he had links to a political funding scandal.

3 July: Defence Minister Fumio Kyuma resigns over controversial remarks about the US atomic bombings of Japan. He said the bombings "couldn't be helped".

13 July: A poll reveals that Abe's popularity is at an all-time low of just 25.7%, putting further pressure on the prime minister.

29 July: The LDP loses control of the Japanese parliament's upper house for the first time in its history.

1 Aug: Agriculture Minister Norihiko Akagi steps down after being accused of financial irregularities.

27 Aug: Mr Abe reshuffles his Cabinet, which gives a brief boost to his ratings.

3 Sept: Agriculture minister Takehiko Endo resigns only a week after being appointed. He admitted a farm group he heads was involved in illegal dealings.

9 Sept: Mr Abe says he has "no intention of staying on" as leader if MPs block a move to extend Japan's support of the US-led mission in Afghanistan.

12 Sept: Shinzo Abe resigns.



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